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Benoit Mandelbrot Quotes

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Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Think not of what you see, but what it took to produce what you see.”

Think not of what you see, but what it took to produce what you see.

— Benoit Mandelbrot



Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Fractal geometry is not just a chapter of mathematics, but one that helps Everyman to see the same world differently.”

Fractal geometry is not just a chapter of mathematics, but one that helps Everyman to see the same world differently.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “A fractal is a way of seeing infinity.”

A fractal is a way of seeing infinity.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Asking the right questions is as important as answering them.”

Asking the right questions is as important as answering them.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “The theory of chaos and theory of fractals are separate, but have very strong intersections. That is one part of chaos theory is geometrically expressed by fractal shapes.”

The theory of chaos and theory of fractals are separate, but have very strong intersections. That is one part of chaos theory is geometrically expressed by fractal shapes.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Beautiful, damn hard, increasingly useful. That’s fractals.”

Beautiful, damn hard, increasingly useful. That’s fractals.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.”

Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straight line.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules, which are repeated without end.”

Bottomless wonders spring from simple rules, which are repeated without end.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “The Mandelbrot set is the most complex mathematical object known to mankind.”

The Mandelbrot set is the most complex mathematical object known to mankind.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I spent half my life, roughly speaking, doing the study of nature in many aspects and half of my life studying completely artificial shapes. And the two are extraordinarily close; in one way both are fractal.”

I spent half my life, roughly speaking, doing the study of nature in many aspects and half of my life studying completely artificial shapes. And the two are extraordinarily close; in one way both are fractal.

— Benoit Mandelbrot



Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “There is a saying that every nice piece of work needs the right person in the right place at the right time.”

There is a saying that every nice piece of work needs the right person in the right place at the right time.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “The theory of probability is the only mathematical tool available to help map the unknown and the uncontrollable. It is fortunate that this tool, while tricky, is extraordinarily powerful and convenient.”

The theory of probability is the only mathematical tool available to help map the unknown and the uncontrollable. It is fortunate that this tool, while tricky, is extraordinarily powerful and convenient.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Being a language, mathematics may be used not only to inform but also, among other things, to seduce.”

Being a language, mathematics may be used not only to inform but also, among other things, to seduce.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “A formula can be very simple, and create a universe of bottomless complexity.”

A formula can be very simple, and create a universe of bottomless complexity.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “When people ask me what’s my field? I say, on one hand, a fractalist. Perhaps the only one, the only full-time one.”

When people ask me what’s my field? I say, on one hand, a fractalist. Perhaps the only one, the only full-time one.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Order doesn’t come by itself.”

Order doesn’t come by itself.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “A fractal is a mathematical set or concrete object that is irregular or fragmented at all scales.”

A fractal is a mathematical set or concrete object that is irregular or fragmented at all scales.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in inventing something.”

An extraordinary amount of arrogance is present in any claim of having been the first in inventing something.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “In fact, I barely missed being number one in France in both schools. In particular I did very well in mathematical problems.”

In fact, I barely missed being number one in France in both schools. In particular I did very well in mathematical problems.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Now that I near 80, I realize with wistful pleasure that on many occasions I was 10, 20, 40, even 50 years ahead of my time.”

Now that I near 80, I realize with wistful pleasure that on many occasions I was 10, 20, 40, even 50 years ahead of my time.

— Benoit Mandelbrot



Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I didn’t feel comfortable at first with pure mathematics, or as a professor of pure mathematics. I wanted to do a little bit of everything and explore the world.”

I didn’t feel comfortable at first with pure mathematics, or as a professor of pure mathematics. I wanted to do a little bit of everything and explore the world.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I didn’t want to become a pure mathematician, as a matter of fact, my uncle was one, so I knew what the pure mathematician was and I did not want to be a pure – I wanted to do something different.”

I didn’t want to become a pure mathematician, as a matter of fact, my uncle was one, so I knew what the pure mathematician was and I did not want to be a pure – I wanted to do something different.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “The most important thing I have done is to combine something esoteric with a practical issue that affects many people.”

The most important thing I have done is to combine something esoteric with a practical issue that affects many people.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I conceived and developed a new geometry of nature and implemented its use in a number of diverse fields. It describes many of the irregular and fragmented patterns around us, and leads to full-fledged theories, by identifying a family of shapes I call fractals.”

I conceived and developed a new geometry of nature and implemented its use in a number of diverse fields. It describes many of the irregular and fragmented patterns around us, and leads to full-fledged theories, by identifying a family of shapes I call fractals.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “If you have a hammer, use it everywhere you can, but I do not claim that everything is fractal.”

If you have a hammer, use it everywhere you can, but I do not claim that everything is fractal.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “In mathematics and science definition are simple, but bare-bones. Until you get to a problem which you understand it takes hundreds and hundreds of pages and years and years of learning.”

In mathematics and science definition are simple, but bare-bones. Until you get to a problem which you understand it takes hundreds and hundreds of pages and years and years of learning.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Engineering is too important to wait for science.”

Engineering is too important to wait for science.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “The straight line has a property of self-similarity. Each piece of the straight line is the same as the whole line when used to a big or small extent.”

The straight line has a property of self-similarity. Each piece of the straight line is the same as the whole line when used to a big or small extent.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I went to the computer and tried to experiment. I introduced a very high level of experiment in very pure mathematics.”

I went to the computer and tried to experiment. I introduced a very high level of experiment in very pure mathematics.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “The techniques I developed for studying turbulence, like weather, also apply to the stock market.”

The techniques I developed for studying turbulence, like weather, also apply to the stock market.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I spent my time very nicely in many ways, but not fully satisfactory. Then I became Professor in France, but realized that I was not – for the job that I should spend my life in.”

I spent my time very nicely in many ways, but not fully satisfactory. Then I became Professor in France, but realized that I was not – for the job that I should spend my life in.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “There are very complex shapes which would be the same from close by and far away.”

There are very complex shapes which would be the same from close by and far away.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Everybody in mathematics had given up for 100 years or 200 years the idea that you could from pictures, from looking at pictures, find new ideas. That was the case long ago in the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance, in later periods, but then mathematicians had become very abstract.”

Everybody in mathematics had given up for 100 years or 200 years the idea that you could from pictures, from looking at pictures, find new ideas. That was the case long ago in the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance, in later periods, but then mathematicians had become very abstract.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “My life has been extremely complicated. Not by choice at the beginning at all, but later on, I had become used to complication and went on accepting things that other people would have found too difficult to accept.”

My life has been extremely complicated. Not by choice at the beginning at all, but later on, I had become used to complication and went on accepting things that other people would have found too difficult to accept.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Self-similarity is a dull subject because you are used to very familiar shapes. But that is not the case. Now many shapes which are self-similar again, the same seen from close by and far away, and which are far from being straight or plane or solid.”

Self-similarity is a dull subject because you are used to very familiar shapes. But that is not the case. Now many shapes which are self-similar again, the same seen from close by and far away, and which are far from being straight or plane or solid.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Smooth shapes are very rare in the wild but extremely important in the ivory tower and the factory.”

Smooth shapes are very rare in the wild but extremely important in the ivory tower and the factory.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Everything is roughness, except for the circles. How many circles are there in nature? Very, very few. The straight lines. Very shapes are very, very smooth. But geometry had laid them aside because they were too complicated.”

Everything is roughness, except for the circles. How many circles are there in nature? Very, very few. The straight lines. Very shapes are very, very smooth. But geometry had laid them aside because they were too complicated.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “A cloud is made of billows upon billows upon billows that look like clouds. As you come closer to a cloud you don’t get something smooth, but irregularities at a smaller scale.”

A cloud is made of billows upon billows upon billows that look like clouds. As you come closer to a cloud you don’t get something smooth, but irregularities at a smaller scale.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Think of color, pitch, loudness, heaviness, and hotness. Each is the topic of a branch of physics.”

Think of color, pitch, loudness, heaviness, and hotness. Each is the topic of a branch of physics.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Although computer memory is no longer expensive, there’s always a finite size buffer somewhere. When a big piece of news arrives, everybody sends a message to everybody else, and the buffer fills.”

Although computer memory is no longer expensive, there’s always a finite size buffer somewhere. When a big piece of news arrives, everybody sends a message to everybody else, and the buffer fills.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Both chaos theory and fractal have had contacts in the past when they are both impossible to develop and in a certain sense not ready to be developed.”

Both chaos theory and fractal have had contacts in the past when they are both impossible to develop and in a certain sense not ready to be developed.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I don’t seek power and do not run around.”

I don’t seek power and do not run around.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dustcloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to.”

Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dustcloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “If you look at a shape like a straight line, what’s remarkable is that if you look at a straight line from close by, from far away, it is the same; it is a straight line.”

If you look at a shape like a straight line, what’s remarkable is that if you look at a straight line from close by, from far away, it is the same; it is a straight line.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “One couldn’t even measure roughness. So, by luck, and by reward for persistence, I did found the theory of roughness, which certainly I didn’t expect and expecting to found one would have been pure madness.”

One couldn’t even measure roughness. So, by luck, and by reward for persistence, I did found the theory of roughness, which certainly I didn’t expect and expecting to found one would have been pure madness.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “I was in an industrial laboratory because academia found me unsuitable.”

I was in an industrial laboratory because academia found me unsuitable.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “When the weather changes, nobody believes the laws of physics have changed. Similarly, I don’t believe that when the stock market goes into terrible gyrations its rules have changed.”

When the weather changes, nobody believes the laws of physics have changed. Similarly, I don’t believe that when the stock market goes into terrible gyrations its rules have changed.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “My fate has been that what I undertook was fully understood only after the fact.”

My fate has been that what I undertook was fully understood only after the fact.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “Some mathematicians didn’t even perceive of the possibility of a picture being helpful. To the contrary, I went into an orgy of looking at pictures by the hundreds; the machines became a little bit better.”

Some mathematicians didn’t even perceive of the possibility of a picture being helpful. To the contrary, I went into an orgy of looking at pictures by the hundreds; the machines became a little bit better.

— Benoit Mandelbrot


Benoit Mandelbrot Quote: “There is a joke that your hammer will always find nails to hit. I find that perfectly acceptable.”

There is a joke that your hammer will always find nails to hit. I find that perfectly acceptable.

— Benoit Mandelbrot

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