The Mandelbrot Monk

In the 13th century, Udo of Aachen wasn’t merely a minor poet, copyist, and theological essayist. A new study of his work reveals that this medieval Benedictine monk was an outstandingly original and talented mathematician. He not only devised the rules for complex arithmetic but also pioneered the iterative process for displaying the famous fractal snowman now known as the Mandelbrot set.

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