Larger than life mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot has passed away. He died last Thursday at age 85, of pancreatic cancer. Perhaps best known for his pioneering work on fractal geometry (he coined the term "fractal" and wrote the original book) Mandelbrot was also a significant intellectual force in the field of finance. His book "The (Mis)behavior of Markets - a Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward" was a best seller and won the financial book of the year award. Mandelbrot was the beloved mentor of Nassim Taleb who authored "The Black Swan". He and Taleb made frequent joint appearances on financial news shows as the present economic crisis unfolded.
I loved his wry, gentle manner of presentation, which was quite accessible to the layman. (He reminded me of physicist Al Bartlett in that respect, who can also tell us we're screwed, with a smile, and keep the audience chuckling.) Another giant of science, one of the most important mathematicians of the post WWII era, gone...
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