Talk:Benoit Mandelbrot/Archive 1

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Archive 1

The change in the formula

As the main article mentions in passing, the original formula presented by BBM was z -> z2 - c but it was later changed to z -> z2 + c. However, it doesn't say when or why this happened. Does anybody know? Khim1 13:24, 17 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See response on Talk:Mandelbrot set page Gandalf61 11:56, 23 January 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Mandelbrot set article states that "The Mandelbrot set was first defined in 1905 by Pierre Fatou", yet this biography says "lthough Mandelbrot invented the word fractal, many of the objects featured in The Fractal Geometry of Nature had been previously described by other mathematicians (the Mandelbrot set being a notable exception)." Am I reading it wrong, or is there a disagreement here like I think?

Fatou investigated the mathematics behind the Mandelbrot set; Mandelbrot was the first to visualise it (and probably the first mathematician to appreciate how complex an object it really is). As it goes on to say further on in the Mandelbrot set article:
Fatou never saw the image of what we now call the Mandelbrot set as we do because the number of calculations required to generate this is far more than could be calculated by hand. Professor Benoît Mandelbrot was the first person to use a computer to plot the set.
Gandalf61 09:55, September 6, 2005 (UTC)
As far as I know, Fatou never studied the Mandelbrot set, or parameter spaces of this kind. However, Brooks and Matelski actually studied the Mandelbrot set before Mandelbrot, in a study of Kleinian Groups, and produced some pictures. (Well, more precisely they studied the set of hyperbolic components, which is conjectured to be equal to the interior of the Mandelbrot set.) Also, I don't really think it is correct to say that Mandelbrot 'built' on the work of Fatou and Julia --- my impression is that he was not actually very familiar with their theory, at least at the time. --LR 22:53, 17 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mandelbrot was very familiar with Julia and Fatou's work. He was a student of Julia at the École Polytechnique. In Mandelbrot's own words:
This theory (interation of rational maps of the complex plane) was dormant in 1979 having reached its high point long before, around 1918, with famous papers by G.Julia and P.Fatou ... I had read or scanned them at the age of twenty ... and they had been incredibly influential in my life.
from Fractals and the Rebirth of Iteration Theory, Benoit B. Mandelbrot, published in The Beauty of Fractals, H.-O.Peitgen & P.H. Richter, 1986. Gandalf61 08:40, 18 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of Mandelbrot's claims in his first article on the Mandelbrot set are easily seen to be false using the results of Fatou and Julia. For example, I seem to recall that Mandelbrot believed that every parameter in the Mandelbrot set has a filled Julia set with nonempty interior. --LR 18:44, 18 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Tages on new section

The new section headed Controversy, added by an anon, contains a number of unsourced and potentially controversial/POV statements. I have tagged them with {{fact}} - unless someone can add references in the next few days, I will be tempted to significantly trim this section or remove it completely. Gandalf61 11:31, 25 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

מתמטיקאי יהודי

I have changed the introduction to conform to the Hebrew language article.--Lance talk 14:04, 26 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bibliography and nobel price.

Could we get a list of his books and major articles. Richard Olsen once attempted to campaign for him to be awarded a nobel price in economics. . Kendirangu 07:14, 30 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


When I was a student, around 1996, I attended a talk by Benoît Mandelbrot. At some point he deplored that some described him as American whereas he is French. Maybe he has dual citizenship, but certainly claiming he is "French-American" would need solid backing. David.Monniaux (talk) 19:07, 15 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fact-checked. Benoît Mandelbrot has dual citizenship. (He deplored being described solely as American.) David.Monniaux (talk) 17:36, 16 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jaromír Korčák

That sentence seems kind of out-of-place in the article in reference to someone who only has one relatively brief mention in the Fractals book (and that in significant part to correct an error)... AnonMoos (talk) 02:40, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

FWIW, I was unable to locate this paper as cited in footnote 6, which apparently contains 1 or more errors. Jaromír Korčák does not appear to have written any articles in the ISI bulletin (searched in French) during any years, and the proper volume number for 1938 would be 5, or more likely 6, not 3 as cited. Page numbers do not match up either. If the error arises from another source, such as a biography, perhaps a "cited in" is necessary here, and/or the proper citation if it can be found. Or, as the OP suggested, drop the reference altogether. poetcetera (talk) 22:13, 27 January 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

death of Benoit Mandelbrot

Benoit Mandelbrot died at October 15 2010 - who can check and update this information? thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nitrofurano (talkcontribs) 10:50, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is Nathan Cohen. Some of you fractal folks know who I am. Suffice to say I am one of many colleagues of Benoit. I am aware that Nassim has made a brief allusion to the events at hand and you guys jumped all over him. Shame!

Dr. Mandelbrot has passed. I strongly urge you to respect the wishes of the family and his closer colleagues by not turning this all into a circus. It is not unusual for such notice to be withheld pending notification of family and others. I strongly urge you to NOT pepper Benoit's email box and other places. WAIT. There will be more information shortly. I will NOT respond to any queries so please don't jump on me either. OK?

The fact that the press hasn't gone public yet indicates the high esteem which Benoit was held to. Again, just WAIT.

Please try to refrain from twittering/social mediaing this ad nauseum--at least UNTIL you see it in the news. Again, just WAIT. I understand that many of you feel that this is akin to losing Einstein, and I mourn with you on the loss of the 'Source'.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:41, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unprotect article request

The only reason this article was protected was because there was no reliable source for his death. Now that a reliable source is established, there is no reason for the continued protection, in fact it is hindering the development of this article during a crucial day or two when it is getting a lot of attention and thus potential editors working on it. Green Cardamom (talk) 16:10, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree. There is no reason for continued protection of the page, now that his death has been confirmed by a reliable source. Nsk92 (talk) 16:16, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, has anyone gone to WP:RFPP and requested unprotection (WP:RFUP officially), which was what I suggested you do once the issue with sourcing the person's death was dealt with? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 16:54, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I tried to ask there twice (with twinkle), it was rejected as there is already one about this article and then when I went there to add it manually I was presented with the template that says to ask the protecting admin first and then I went to your talkpage and saw you had been asked so I though is was in the pipeline and I left it alone. Off2riorob (talk) 16:57, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly, the template instructions at RFPP say to ask the protecting admin first. I had requested unprotection at User talk:Bwilkins. Nsk92 (talk) 17:01, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree as well - now that his death has been confirmed by TED and in the general media the article will be generating a lot of traffic and this is the worst time to have it protected. Ardalby (talk) 17:04, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I was not supposed to have been around all day - so you could have been waiting forever. I have reduced the protection to semi to prevent possible negative BLP consequences due to the recent coverage. Expiry date is still the same as when it was protected. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 17:07, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Death rumours

There's a rumour going around Twitter right now that Mandelbrot died yesterday. No evidence yet found - David Gerard (talk) 00:00, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Closest we have to a source (talk) 00:45, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A friend of Taleb's also reports getting the news from him in this blog post (Google Translate of original Portuguese): Those two are the only sources I've seen so far - no mainstream media seems to have picked up the story. Theharmonyguy (talk) 01:22, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, also (talk) 01:27, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) I think that we should wait for more definitive confirmation from RS. I asked for page protection which was declined but the admin at RPP is going to watch this for any edit-warring. We should be careful per BLP. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 01:32, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Keeping an eye on Twitter in case any useful links pop up in the circulating reports.Ray Radlein (talk) 02:54, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Im Sorry to confirm that BBM died yesterday -I am a member of the family French branch —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:39, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Madlebrot's profile page has been updated, but hard to work out their source: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Psd (talkcontribs) 09:12, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Edge is an online magazine. I think they may be a reliable source. But per BLP we may have to wait for another more mainstream source since the Edge hasn't declared its sources yet. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 09:41, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
why has article listed his death if we don't have proper sources yet? MikeyMoose (talk) 10:39, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I just reverted. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 10:41, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Full protected - use RFPP to request unprotection when valid sources are found, otherwise protection will expire in 3 days. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 10:51, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you. I had asked at RPP many hours ago. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 10:52, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Famous german IT-Newsmag: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There is also now an article in the New York Times confirming his death. That's as reliable as a newspaper gets. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:29, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Jacques Mandelbrot, Benoît’s cousin, confirmed the news via the Computer Arts Society mailing list, and they have to wait for Times' article :( (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:08, 16 October 2010 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Birth name?

For a Lithuanian Jew born in Poland in the 20's, Benoît does not appear to be a very likely name. If I had to guess, it is a stand-in for Borukh, which translates to Benoît. But I can't find a source. NYT is no help, and Google isn't either. Does anyone have a source? -- Y not? 00:36, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

By the way ...

How did that all come up? Well, seeing he was REALLY healthy still in February 2010 at the TED talk where he was acclaimed by the audience like a pop star, this comes a bit quick. Did M. already KNOW at that time he had pancreatic cancer? I'm no physician, but I can't believe that a pancreatic cancer could start from absolutely zero in March 2010 and then lead to sudden death in October. Nah, that just doesn't sound plausible. -andy (talk) 12:43, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From our article .. the cancer usually causes no symptoms early on, leading to locally advanced or metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Median survival from diagnosis is around 3 to 6 months; Pancreatic Cancer - Off2riorob (talk) 12:50, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As it grows deep inside the body, it can often be asymptomatic (i.e. unnoticed) until very late, at which time it can rapidly progress to death. Casliber (talk · contribs) 20:53, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Death confirmed

{{editprotected}} - confirmed at Exxolon (talk) 14:32, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hello, am I talking to myself here? Either edit the article or unprotect it so I can. Exxolon (talk) 14:49, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, suppport, unprotecting of the article or lowering to semi protection. There is a reliable citation for his death. Off2riorob (talk) 14:53, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What changes are you proposing? There seems to be consensus for the changes, but without knowing exactly what needs to be changed I'm reluctant to blindly edit the article (and I'm certainly not unprotecting it without discussing first with the protecting admin). I gather the "(born...)" bit in the lead needs to be changed to "(20 September 1924 – 14 October 2010)", and the infobox needs updated. What is required prose-wise? TFOWR 15:02, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The changes are simple - (born XXXX) should be changed to your text above and tenses should be changed (is to was etc) and a brief sentence in the bio or personal life section (Mandelbrot died in XXXX from YYYY on ZZZZ)(ref). However I've run out of time due to the slow response to my request and will now not be able to do this myself as I have to leave my computer for some time. Exxolon (talk) 15:05, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In that case I've "tlx-ed" the {{edit protected}} tag. When you guys have some prose worked out re-instate the tag and make your request explicit. TFOWR 15:09, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, yes, the death and the citation.. I thought the article was protected because of the death claims? I will format the cite... Off2riorob (talk) 15:06, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No idea. All I'm going on are some demands that {{edit protected}} requests be handled within 15 minutes. Any chance you could sort out some prose, as well? TFOWR 15:09, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

{{edit protected}}

For the time being, please tag this on the end of the lede.....

  • - Mandelbrot died in a hospice in Cambridge,Massachusetts on October 14, 2010, the cause of death was pancreatic cancer. He was eighty five years old.<ref>{{cite web|url=|ttle=Benoit Mandelbrot, Mathematician, Dies at 85|publisher=[[The New York Times]]|date=October 16, 2010|accessdate=October 16, 2010}}</ref>

In the lede.... (born 20 November 1924 - died October 14, 2010)

also the infobox needs the date date adding showing the age, that is a template thing..and the words .. is ...changing to was.. and ..lives .lived.. leaving the lede like this ...

Benoît B. Mandelbrot[1] (born 20 Nov 1924 - died Oct14, 2010) was a French and American mathematician, best known as the father of fractal geometry. He was Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Emeritus at Yale University; IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center; and Battelle Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Mandelbrot was born in Poland. His family moved to France when he was a child, and he was educated in France. He is a dual French and American citizen. He lived and worked in the United States. Mandelbrot died in a hospice in Cambridge,Massachusetts on October 14, 2010, the cause of death was pancreatic cancer. He was eighty five years old.<ref>{{cite web|url=|ttle=Benoit Mandelbrot, Mathematician, Dies at 85|publisher=[[The New York Times]]|date=October 16, 2010|accessdate=October 16, 2010}}</ref>Off2riorob (talk) 15:19, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Would it be possible to have some kind of infobox/template at the top of the page with a link to the NY Times article (or some other source) and an explanation that the article is in the process of being updated for his death until the changes have been made? (talk) 15:28, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi, think it is added now. Off2riorob (talk) 15:30, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hehe, don't be tough on yerself, wikipedia neither expects or requires perfection. Off2riorob (talk) 15:36, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks, only two small .. please add the cat 2010 deaths and please internally link the pancreatic cancer so users can go there and read about the cause of death. Thanks. Off2riorob (talk) 15:34, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both seem uncontroversial and obvious, and hence have been  Done. TFOWR 15:39, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks TFOWR. Off2riorob (talk) 16:14, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good job. Thank you. The quality of the sources is policy-compliant now. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 16:14, 16 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think should use the above NY times article as a source. The two existing citations don't have a date and I overzealously when and attempted to fix the date. Just out of curiosity, what is the normal process... is it bad form to replace a source?Mmainguy (talk) 21:55, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The NY Times is already used (it's first in the list of references, but may be used for more than just date of death). The other one I saw was The NYT doesn't specify date of death (I updated the article back when it was fully protected, so I had to double check references provided by other editors) but it does state "Thursday", which at the time was good enough for me ;-) As regards replacing sources - no, you're fine to do that. Some sources are better than others, however. Since you like the New York Times, and since I regard the New Your Times as a high-quality source, I'd suggest you'll be fine! TFOWR 22:00, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another dead math "wiz." Mission partly accomplished. --Kaizer13 (talk) 22:11, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removed {{recent death}} template

I have removed the {{recent death}} template because there is almost no editing going on now concerning Mandelbrot's death, and there is no reason to think there will be. As per Template:Recent death, the template "should only be used when many editors (perhaps a hundred or more) are editing the article on the same day. Thus, it would typically be used very rarely (e.g., following the death of an internationally well-known figure). Do not use it merely to tag the article of a recently deceased person." -- (talk) 12:09, 18 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No argument from me. As a general rule, templates like this shouldn't be used ;-) Editors tend to think that {{current event}} is a tag that should be applied to all articles covering a current event, {{recent death}} is a tag that should be applied to all articles about a subject who's recently died, etc. This isn't the case, as you correctly note: the tags should only be used when the articles are being heavily edited. TFOWR 12:23, 18 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Crichton's "Jurassic Park": yet another way of...

...distributing M's theories to the public. Oh yes. If anyone of you guys read the BOOK I think you will agree with me. Forget the movie, since it was more focused on action scenes, argument and yelling around than on Crichton's deep thoughts behind. I'm hesitating to input it in a haste, but JP was a fantastic way to let common people know about Mandelbrot. He's even mentioned directly by about the half of the book. -andy (talk) 03:36, 25 July 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the same year (1990) that Jurassic Park was published, Arthur C. Clarke's novel The Ghost from the Grand Banks appeared also prominently featuring the Mandelbrot set - as you can see, our article leads with a cover depicting it! I'd suggest that this book was as influential as Crichton's for a different if overlapping readership. (talk) 13:20, 19 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Shouldn't there be a picture of him insted a Mandelbrot Set in the opening? Just to comply with the Biography Standard.... (Looking for some picture of him). nihil 20:21, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There is a picture of him. Only his hair resembles a Mandelbrot Set.-- (talk) 01:22, 20 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Emphesis to earlier work "How long is the coastline..." general comments re citations

I suggest someone add "Fractals and Scaling in Finance" Discontinuity, Concentration, Risk by Benoit B. Mandelbrot Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc. Published: 1999

This is beyond my current editing skills. The references and citations could use a cleanup. The page unfortunately is loaded with "Death Centric" obituaries and awards and does not provide as an accessible a picture of the man's work, and it's importance. I plan to include the 1967 work, including annotations from

Unfortunately these comments could fit in either the Academic Career section as the second paragraph (Maintaining chronological flow) or in some other form in the Fractals and regular roughness Section, which I prefer not to tinker with.

To be included as a second paragraph in “Academic Career” unless someone talks me out of it- "In 1967 Mandelbrot had the opportunity to publish the paper “How long is the coastline of Britain” in the popular magazine “Science”. Mandelbrot identified a degree of complication “a quantity D that has many properties of a "dimension," though it is fractional.” He viewed the paper as “a "Trojan" horse allowing a bit of mathematical esoterica to "infiltrate" surreptitiously hence near-painlessly, the investigation of the messiness of raw nature.” and to gain acceptability to the notion that “dimension does matter concretely when an object is self-similar” [Annotations, 2003?] He would later continue to develop the relationships between these obscure mathematics and nature in the book entitled "Fractals : form, chance and dimension" 1975 Fr. 1977 En., the precursor to The Fractal Geometry of Nature.[11]" Awaiting other editors input also see- [1] StowAwayOnTheBeagle (talk) 01:16, 25 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]



1. Since this guy still seems to be alive, what about asking himself how he wants his name to be pronounced? 2. Since it is a Yiddish/German word, what about pronouncing it like that or at least mention how it'd be pronounced in Yiddish/German? (the closest would probably be the pronouncation given by Merriam-Webster)

The first of those points is exactly what I was going to ask! (Actually, if any wikipedian would ask him that question, I suppose it would constitute original research, so the better thing to do would be to find a recording of how he pronounces it, or to find an article about him where this is mentioned.) --Keeves 20:30, 14 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or one could just ask someone who knows him.

I saw Benoît Mandelbrot today. The way he says his own name in French sounds like a French person would pronounce Mandelbraut, with a 't' at the end. I don't know IPA though. David.Monniaux 21:21, 11 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I removed all the pronunciations of the bread. That isn't necessarily how he says his name. The OED pronunciation is specifically for him. — kwami (talk) 10:57, 17 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mandelbrot and David Feuerwerker

The current version of the entry states that Mandelbrot "was helped by Rabbi David Feuerwerker, the Rabbi of Brive-la-Gaillarde, to continue his studies." Given both Feuerwerker and Mandelbrot's historical importance, this seems like a substantial bit of history, but no citation is given and, after looking through the various things that are cited in this section, I can't find evidence for the claim. Googling their names only turns up pages that directly quote the wikipedia entry. Anyone know where this comes from/can you provide a citation? The closest I can find is a passage in his Web of Stories interview ( where Mandelbrot indicates that "the people I was living with, who belonged to the resistance group" decided he needed rest, and shortly after he moved to Lyon to prepare to apply to a grand ecole. Where the Feuerwerkers perhaps among these "friends"? Errantd (talk) 01:20, 23 November 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Employment record

Twice it is stated that he served at IBM for 35 years, yet he is recorded as arriving in America and beginning work in 1958 then leaving IBM in 1987 - one does not have to be a mathematician of Mandelbrot's calibre to detect an arithmetical mismatch here. Chrysippo (talk) 16:21, 20 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 13:03, 24 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Benoît MandelbrotBenoit Mandelbrot — Correct spelling of his first name, as explained above.-- JGleick (talk) 04:37, 24 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Relevancy of Race

From WP:EGRS: Categories should not be based on race unless the race has a specific relation to the topic. Hence, the categroies American Jews, American People of Polish-Jewish descent, French Jews, and Polish Jews, should probably be omitted from this article, see ongoing discussion here. Nidrosia (talk) 15:28, 24 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In view of the discussion found here, I now admit my original question was ill-posed. I apologize. Nidrosia (talk) 19:09, 25 May 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bibliorgraphy, etc?

A list of publications would be a nice addition. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 18 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


How about some mention of his contribution(s) to economics including reference to "The (Mis)behavior of Markets" (2004 IIRC) ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:26, 18 September 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

more name correction

Benoit Mandelbrot used no accent (circumflex i) in his name. In French, it is standard to spell Benoît with the accent, and some sources (most notably the NY Times obituary) erroneously use it. Neverless, Mandelbrot himself (a U.S. citizen born in Poland) did not.

For sourcing, one may check all of his books and scientific papers. He never used the accent. There is also his official, self-maintained "Vita," which is scrupulous about correctly accented French (and other languages). It is downloadable here.

The OED spells it correctly.

(Also, he told me himself how he preferred to spell his name, but I suppose that doesn't count, since it would be original research.)

The title needs to be changed, too.

JGleick (talk) 15:31, 23 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I suppose some intrepid wikipedian could cite Chaos by J Gleick to avoid the original research limitation. Phytism (talk) 13:18, 4 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

References cleanup

MANY of the references currently listed are unused in the article. Please revise (talk) 13:43, 18 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Now I love etymology more than most folks, but this clever concatenation of factoids doesn't come up again in the entry, so I'm moving 'em:

In German, Mandelbrot means "almond bread", while Benoît is French for "Benedict" meaning "blessed".


Aslo in swedish SV:Mandelbrotmängden
I also have a question, is in not better to redirect Benoît Mandelbrot to Benoît B. Mandelbrot (the correct name) and not the way it is today? Is there a reason for not doing this?? // Solkoll 20:23, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
How is that the correct name? Gzornenplatz 20:26, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)
The correct name coz it's spelled correctly :-) Paul.N.Lee has got a page here, where he lists all names in the fractal world (also mine ;-) and I normaly use this list when nameing the persons I write about. Like a standards list. // Solkoll 21:10, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
"Benoît Mandelbrot" is also spelled correctly. The initial is not an essential part of the name - with Google I get 15,700 hits without, and only 4,970 with. And I can't find a single incidence where the middle name is spelled out - what the B. stands for is a mystery. Gzornenplatz 22:10, Jul 11, 2004 (UTC)
Ok! google figures rules :-) About the "B"??? I have no idéa! intresting i say, // Solkoll 23:40, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I saw it postulated that Prof. Mandelbrot was being humorous; specifically that his chosen middle initial, in fact, stood for his full name. The only online references say flatly that it doesn't stand for "any specific name." Happypete (talk) 11:37, 19 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Benoît Mandelbrot is French, and in France, in general, people do not use a middle initial. He's always referred to in France as Benoît Mandelbrot, not Benoît B. Mandelbrot. There might be a case for adding the B. if it were the common usage in English, but that's not even the case. David.Monniaux 06:27, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Google sucks ;-P
—DIV ( (talk) 04:13, 22 September 2008 (UTC))Reply[reply]

I'm thinking you guys aren't mathematicians and so missed the joke. The "B" in "Benoît B. Mandelbrot" stands for "Benoît B. Mandelbrot". So... Benoît B. Mandelbrot then becomes "Benoît Benoît B. Mandelbrot Mandelbrot" - and so on. That is to say, his name then becomes like the fractals he described, you can drill down forever always replacing the "B" with "Benoît B. Mandelbrot" and never reach the bottom. Rklawton (talk) 18:52, 2 September 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Am I missing something?

Am I missing something, or is this a non-sentence?

Clarke also notes an "odd coincidence:" "the name Mandelbrot, and the word "mandala"—for a religious symbol—which I'm sure is a pure coincidence, but indeed the Mandelbrot set does seem to contain an enormous number of mandalas."[9]Kdammers (talk) 04:28, 4 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

so what does the b. in benoit b. mandelbrot stand for?

?... -- (talk) 01:41, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"B." = "Benoit B. Mandelbrot". It appears to be a joke that Mandelbrot enjoyed. Rklawton (talk) 06:14, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name Correction

Mandelbrot often told people, including reporters, that he met or worked with that his middle initial was made up, and stood for nothing, which is dutifully reported in the NY Times obituary, probably based on the recent interview referred to in that obit, and now reported on this Wikipedia page via Note 1. HOWEVER, Benoit's listing in the latest 2010 directory of American Academy of Sciences shows that the "B." stood for "Baruch". So it's doubtful that his first name was also based on that.

See (page 349)

I tried adding this to the references list of the article and modifying Note 1, but couldn't figure out where the actual references list is in the source for this entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:38, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Baruch? That might make sense. Many people of Jewish origin "hid" their second (usually Jewish) name in order to avoid anti-Semitic reactions of people. -andy (talk) 09:33, 17 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

His middle intial of "B." stood for Benoit B. Mandelbrot, making his own name a fractal. I do not have a reliable source as of this moment, but when I do, I will share it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 13 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My understanding is that was a joke that was passed around the internet. I don't believe Mandelbrot actually said that, but who knows. (talk) 07:40, 22 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Brownian cluster

I think something should be said about the brownian cluster 4/3 conjecture B.M. developed from working with coastlines, which actually is no longer a conjecture since it has been proved.Lbertolotti (talk) 21:57, 7 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

TED talk external link

I think the video can't be visualized from that link. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lbertolotti (talkcontribs) 23:48, 16 February 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

reliable source?

The citation for the joke about the B. in Mandelbrot's name standing for the entire name seems to me to not meet WP:RS. Clicking it links me to a discusion thread about the topic - whereas I think we really need something on the level of a news article or something a little more reliable than merely an ever changing discussion thread.

Here's the reference that I'm objecting to:

"It's Okay To Be Smart • What is Benoit B. Mandelbrot’s middle name?". 2013-01-23.

Voyager640 (talk) 06:11, 16 June 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

1/f noise

link to discussion Lbertolotti (talk) 16:58, 24 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

External links modified

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German on average?

I was at a public lecture by M. at the Australian National University twenty years ago. The host introduced him by saying that he had been born in Poland, and raised in France, and so was "on average German". M opened by saying that the host had stolen his joke.

If indeed M. has/does use this line, I think that it would be worth a mention in the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:55, 11 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is Mandelbrot his real name ? Its rather strange that anyone would call them self Mandelbrot ( Almond bread ). And its also somewhat unusual with a german name ( though it occurs )to some born in Poland. (talk) 15:01, 29 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Speaking of jokes, this one buried in Note 1 seems out of place. <He [sometimes?] included "B" as a middle initial, which stands for "Benoit B Mandelbrot".> If he himself used this joke (and I must say it's a good one), perhaps it should be placed with the "on average German" one to show his sense of humor. A word as to whether the middle initial "B" is real, or just for the sake of the joke, would be appropriate as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 9 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

His listing at the site gives his name as "Benoit B. Mandelbrot". Carlstak (talk) 18:54, 9 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anon edits

The anon is making additions of clearly unimportant (and WP:PEACOCK) material, and moving unimportant things above what is really important. Since he refuses to discuss his edits, I suggest the article be semi-protected until he is willing to do so. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 00:56, 21 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What could there possibly be to discuss with someone who doesn't believe that the Hurst coefficient (H) belongs in a discussion of fractals, and, worse, begins all of HIS edits with derogatory commentary following "good faith edits" cynicism? --2602:306:BC24:A1E0:1EB:B42C:D2B0:1FE (talk) 01:06, 21 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Specific textual errors:
  1. Science writer Arthur C. Clarke credits fractals as being "one of the most astonishing discoveries in the entire history of mathematics."< ref name="Clarke" /> Best-selling essayist-author Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Mandelbrot protégé and a scientific adviser at Universa Investments, has remarked that Mandelbrot's book The Mis(Behavior) of Markets is in his opinion "The deepest and most realistic finance book ever published."
    Should not be in the lead, and Taleb's comments on Mandelbrot should almost certainly not be in the article.
  2. He later discovered the Mandelbrot set of intricate, never-ending fractal shapes, named in his honor.
    WP:PEACOCK, and requires a source (other than Taleb). Whether the correct term is "discovered" or "invented" is a POV question.
Arthur Rubin (talk) 01:14, 21 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

As a non-expert reader, the chronology of the discovery of the Mandelbrot set in this article seems suspect. This article mentions Mandelbrot "discovering the Mandelbrot set in 1979." Confusingly, a few lines down it says that "He later discovered the Mandelbrot set . . . named in his honor". The chronology in the Mandelbrot Set article seems more believable. It states that "This fractal was first defined and drawn in 1978 by Robert W. Brooks and Peter Matelski". and that "on 1 March 1980 . . . Benoit Mandelbrot first saw a visualization of the set" and that "Adrien Douady and John H. Hubbard . . . established many of its fundamental properties and named the set in honor of Mandelbrot." Israelgale (talk) 04:04, 21 February 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mandelbrot was a...(fill in the blank)

Issue: Is calling Mandelbrot "a mathematician" in the lede...misleading? I believe that polymath is more fitting.

Starting this thread with a couple of quotes from Mandelbrot:

"This difficulty — am I a mathematician because my degree says so? Am I an engineer because I'm interested in things? Am I a social scientist because I don't think there's a difference between the turbulence in stock markets in terms of unpredictability? At IBM I wouldn't have to worry about that. The names of departments were totally strange and totally meaningless, so it looked like a promising situation for a short time. As it turned out I was going to spend thirty-five years and twelve days at IBM, almost from the beginning to the day when IBM decided that successful research was no longer going to be carried on in that division."

"My efforts over the years had been successful to the extent, to take an example, that fractals made many mathematicians learn a lot about physics, biology, and economics. Unfortunately, most were beginning to feel they had learned enough to last for the rest of their lives. They remained mathematicians, had been changed by considering the new problems I raised, but largely went their own way."

Note that Mandelbrot refers to 'mathematicians' as "they"...and to himself as a "fractalist." And his body of work speaks to this.

-- (talk) 22:08, 7 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Additionally, via biographer -- and many-year collaborator -- Michael Frame:

"Years ago, one of his visitors at Yale remarked that he’d read Benoit’s papers in mathematics, physics, finance, hydrology, and linguistics, and he wondered to what field Benoit thought he belonged. How did he see himself ? Without hesitation, Benoit replied that he was a storyteller."

-- (talk) 22:54, 7 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia, as an encyclopeida is not a place for people's musing on self-definition: you would need a formal presentation as "polymath" by someone else. Besides own official bio doesn't even use "polymath"; every formal title is in mathematics or, rather, applied mathematics and every job except in 1950-1952 when he started was in mathematics. [[1]] states that is that he is a mathematician. Limit-theorem (talk) 02:50, 8 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your (musing) opinion is noted, but runs afoul of the facts as cited. -- (talk) 03:18, 8 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Moreover-- note use of "but"...indicating a superior juxtaposition, and clearly the better indicator of who/what Mandelbrot was:
""He was a great mathematician," said Harvard University cardiologist Ary Goldberger, "but he was a polymath who was interested in all sorts of things." Link:
-- (talk) 03:27, 8 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yet another reference to Mandelbrot (entirely unsurprisingly) as a "polymath":
...and Google results for "Mandelbrot" and "polymath": 9,430 results
And so...I could go on, but that would be pedantic, as my point is are the citations. But to state the point: Mandelbrot was much more than a mere mathematician.
-- (talk) 03:40, 8 January 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]