Benoît B. Mandelbrot is a French American mathematician, best known as the father of fractal geometry. He is the author of numerous books and the Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences, Emeritus at Yale University.
Professor Mandelbrot is also an IBM Fellow Emeritus at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center. From 1951 onward, Professor Mandelbrot worked on problems and published papers not only in mathematics but in applied fields such as information theory, economics, and fluid dynamics. He became convinced that two key themes, fat tails and self-similar structure, ran through a multitude of problems encountered in those fields. Professor Mandelbrot has applied his theories to subjects ad diverse as financial markets and cosmology.
Upon his retirement from IBM in 1987, he joined the Yale Department of Mathematics. Previous professorships include positions at Harvard, M.I.T, l’Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, Gonville and Caius College, University of Lille and the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. At the time of his retirement in 2005, Professor Mandelbrot was Sterling Professor of Mathematical Sciences. His awards include the Wolf Prize for Physics in 1993, the Lewis Fry Richardson Prize of the European Geophysical Society in 2000, the Japan Prize in 2003, and the Einstein Lectureship of the American Mathematical Society in 2006. The small asteroid 27500 Mandelbrot was named in his honor.
In November 1990, he was made a Knight in the French Legion of Honour. In December 2005, Mandelbrot was appointed to the position of Battelle Fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Professor Mandelbrot was promoted to Officer of the French Legion of Honour in January 2006.