Julia & Mandelbrot

Gaston & Benoit

Mathematics is cumulative. That is, it is made from contributions of ideas from many individuals through time. Gaston Julia and Benoit Mandelbrot are both considered French mathematicians but lived very different lives and never met. Julia was born in 1893 and Mandelbrot in 1924. In 1918 Julia, at 25 years of age, published a 199 page paper entitled "Mémoire sur l'itération des fonctions rationnelles" which first described the iteration of a rational function. This article made Julia famous however, Julia and his work soon fell into oblivion since there were as yet no computers.

Benoit Mandelbrot was shown Julia’s paper in 1945 but was not impressed. In 1970, while working at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center where there were lots of computers, he revisited Julia’s work and as part of his own research, wrote the first computer program to display Julia images which he termed Fractals. The rest is history.

Here is a video that illustrates their mathematical Connection