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The Blindfolded Archer

Donald MacKenzie: The stochastic dynamics of market prices, 4 August 2005

The (Mis)behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward 
by Benoit Mandelbrot and Richard Hudson.
Profile, 328 pp., £9.99, September 2005, 1 86197 790 5
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... need to make any calculations. The answer is obvious.’ In later decades, the young refugee, Benoit Mandelbrot, was most famously to deploy his talent for geometric intuition in what came to be known as ‘chaos theory’. To the search for deep pattern underlying apparently utterly irregular phenomena, ...

Techno-Sublime

Brian Rotman: Fractals, 7 November 2013

The Fractalist: Memoir of a Scientific Maverick 
by Benoit Mandelbrot.
Pantheon, 324 pp., £22.50, October 2012, 978 0 307 37735 7
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... Benoit Mandelbrot, who died in 2010, was a Polish-born, French-educated mathematician who flourished and became famous in America. His special genius was his ability to disregard disciplinary boundaries and find a common pattern underlying disparate phenomena. From adolescence on he was possessed by an urgent desire to invent a mathematical object that would transform the way we look at the world ...

Thinking

Peter Campbell, 4 August 1988

Who got Einstein’s office? Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study 
by Ed Regis.
Simon and Schuster, 316 pp., £12.95, April 1988, 0 671 69923 7
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Chaos 
by James Gleick.
Heinemann, 354 pp., £12.95, May 1988, 9780434295548
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The School of Genius 
by Anthony Storr.
Deutsch, 216 pp., £12.95, June 1988, 0 233 98010 5
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... Regis reports a conversation with a senior professor of mathematics on the question of whether Benoit Mandelbrot, the inventor of fractal geometry, should be offered an appointment: ‘I don’t think we’d want him,’ the mathematics professor says. ‘I mean, he’s big in the popular mind, but is he really that big? I know what it says in the ...

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