Archive for fractals

GG Day in Rouen

Posted in Kids, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2017 by xi'an

[Notice: This post is fairly “local” in that it is about a long-time friend being celebrated by his university. Nice poster though and an opportunity to stress his essential contributions to the maths department there!]

Next June, I will spend the day in Rouen for a conference celebrating the career and dedication of Gérard Grancher to mathematics and the maths department there. (When I got invited I had not realised I was to give the research talk of the day!) Gérard Granger is a CNRS engineer and a statistician who is indissociable from the maths department in Rouen, where he spent his whole career, now getting quite close to [mandatory] retirement! I am very happy to take part in this celebration as Gérard has always been an essential component of the department there, driving the computer structure, reorganising the library, disseminating the fun of doing maths to high schools around and to the general public, and always a major presence in the department,  whom I met when I started my PhD there (!) Working on the local computers in Pascal and typing my thesis with scientific word (!!)

the fractalist

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , on November 8, 2012 by xi'an

Definitely a cool—if borderline hairy—cover…! I have not read The Fractalist, which is an auto-biography of Benoît Mandelbrot, who passed away in 2010. (The title itself is not bad either, ringing both of fatalist as in Diderot, and catalyst as in, er… catalyst! I do not know if it was suggested by Mandelbrot himself or by an editor after he passed away.) It was however mentioned in a book review I read in the New York Times on my way back to Paris. The reviewer, Dwight Garner, is rather critical of the memoir:

`To read “The Fractalist” is to examine a brain — Mandelbrot’s — that can seem to reside in a jar. There is almost nothing about his wife, his two sons or his other interests (if he had any), besides music. His ego is perhaps too apparent. To put my complaints in Mandelbrotian terms, this book lacks a sort of glorious roughness. It reads like a lightly annotated curriculum vitae.’

and states in the final paragraph that `Beautiful minds don’t always write beautiful books. Life isn’t fair that way.‘ I am thus rather reserved about writing a CHANCE review of this book, esp. because I never came close to use any of Mandelbrot’s work. Now, if any ‘Og reader is interested in writing such a review, send it to me and I will consider it with the utmost attention! (Just to be crystal-clear on this: I have not received a copy of The Fractalist from the editor and do not plan to request one. So potential reviewers will have to purchase the book on their own funds.)