Following a Crooked Career Path

And no, I’m not advocating anything illegal.

Benoit Mandelbrot, passed away last week at age 85, of pancreatic cancer.  If you’ve ever seen a fractal, or know what they are, thank him.  Both the New York Times and the Washington Post had stories on him, describing the chaos in both his personal and professional lives.  I particularly like this quote from the first article….

“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.'”