Benoit B. Mandelbrot (1924-2010)

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Benoit B. Mandelbrot, who advanced the concept of power law scaling as a fundamental property of a broad range of natural processes and patterns in geophysics, economics, mathematics, and virtually all of science, died on 14 October 2010 in Cambridge, Mass., at the age of 85. Mandelbrot, known as the “father of fractal geometry,” was a mathematician who developed the scaling concepts of self-similarity and self-affinity and found examples in spatial, temporal, and size patterns across a broad spectrum of disciplines. He coined the term “fractal” (from the Latin noun “fractus,” meaning fragmented) for shapes and patterns that exhibit self-similarity, meaning that they are statistically scale independent. Such shapes are characterized by fractional power law exponents, between the integer (Euclidean) dimensions. He is best known through his books, including Les Objets Fractals: Forme, Hasard et Dimension; Fractals: Form, Chance and Dimension; The Fractal Geometry of Nature; andMultifractals and 1/f Noise: Wild Self-Affinity in Physics [Mandelbrot, 1975, Mandelbrot1977, Mandelbrot 1982, Mandelbrot 1999].