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Icons of Progress

Fractal Geometry

Soon after its discovery and introduction to society, fractal geometry and the Mandelbrot set quickly became mainstay installations in both popular and sci-fi, or “geek,” culture. For many people, the Mandelbrot set is tangible proof that mathematics is alive and well.


Fractals in computer graphics

Perhaps the most apparent use of fractals in today’s world is in computer graphics. Designers and production teams create life-like “fractal forgeries” of landscapes that do not exist. An early computer graphics use of fractals can be seen in the Genesis planet transformation sequence of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. These extensive fractal landscapes and other fractal techniques were also used in The Last Starfighter and Return of the Jedi.