Monday, October 18, 2010

Odds and Evens Week of 10-18-10

Much has been happening in the world of mathematics and mathematics education. I'm only scratching the surface here.

  • The passing of Professor Mandelbrot -- There is no question that this man has left an eternal "singularity" in the profession. Who among us has not been mesmerized by the computer images generated by one of his creations. He dared to think different and was not always recognized or lauded for his uncanny knack of seeing patterns no one else could. When asked to look back on his career, Dr. Mandelbrot compared his own trajectory to the rough outlines of clouds and coastlines that drew him into the study of fractals in the 1950s.

“If you take the beginning and the end, I have had a conventional career,” he said, referring to his prestigious appointments in Paris and at Yale. “But it was not a straight line between the beginning and the end. It was a very crooked line.” 

"All Truth passes through Three Stages: First, it is Ridiculed... Second, it is Violently Opposed... Third, it is Accepted as being Self-Evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer (1778-1860)

"You've got to be taught To hate and fear, You've got to be taught From year to year, It's got to be drummed In your dear little ear You've got to be carefully taught. --from South Pacific

1 comment:

Justin said...

The New York Times had an excellent obituary on him. Also, if you haven't heard it, Jonathan Coulton wrote a tribute song that does a fairly good job explaining the basic idea of the Mandelbrot set.