NET PICS: Fractal Fever

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Science  24 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5363, pp. 491
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5363.491c

Given that fractal geometry combines computers, math, and images, it's perhaps no surprise that fractals have a huge following on the Web. Discovered in the 1970s by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, the technique involves repeatedly applying a mathematical formula to generate structures. Fractal geometry has been used to model natural systems ranging from snowflakes to blood vessels—and to make stunning pictures. One of the oldest fractal art sites is mathematician Frank Roussel's, started in 1993 at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris ( The site includes some 600 images, more than 200 animated fractal movies, and links to other artists' Web sites. Elsewhere on the Net, fractal fans can discuss techniques on a Usenet group, sci.fractals, or embark on a tour of more than 70 fractal sites at

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