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The Fractal Geometry of Nature by Benoit B.…
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The Fractal Geometry of Nature (1983)

by Benoit B. Mandelbrot

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I read this in high school, and finally picked up a copy many years later when I wandered across it in a used bookstore. To be honest, though, this is one of the books that sits on my shelf because a mathematician has to have a copy of it, not because it is of any interest to me. There's too much fluff and belaboring here, and not enough clear explanation. For example, there is a color plate of a computer-generated planet, but no explanation of how it was created. "We can do this", but not much "here's how this is done." It left me frustrated in high school, and looking through it since then has done nothing to improve my opinion. ( )
  prosfilaes | Dec 4, 2010 |
Well, it's a classic -- and Mandelbrot's idea of "fractals" is certainly a powerful one. I just wish he had decided to work with a co-author on this one. James Gleick and Ivars Peterson do a much better job of describing the science of fractals, IMHO. Kudos to Dr. Mandelbrot for discovering this new world, though! ( )
  FlyByPC | Feb 12, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0716711869, Hardcover)

Imagine an equilateral triangle. Now, imagine smaller equilateral triangles perched in the center of each side of the original triangle--you have a Star of David. Now, place still smaller equilateral triangles in the center of each of the star's 12 sides. Repeat this process infinitely and you have a Koch snowflake, a mind-bending geometric figure with an infinitely large perimeter, yet with a finite area. This is an example of the kind of mathematical puzzles that this book addresses.

The Fractal Geometry of Nature is a mathematics text. But buried in the deltas and lambdas and integrals, even a layperson can pick out and appreciate Mandelbrot's point: that somewhere in mathematics, there is an explanation for nature. It is not a coincidence that fractal math is so good at generating images of cliffs and shorelines and capillary beds.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:13 -0400)

The complexity of natures shapes differs in kind, not merely degree, from that of shapes of ordinary geometry. To describe these shapes Mandelbrot conceived and developed a new geometry - the geometry of fractal shapes which this text discusses.

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