What’s a fractal?
Just one of the main building blocks of the universe. Known as ‘God’s thumbprint,’ these simple math formulas reveal the intricate recursive patterns found within nature, yet still remain one of science’s best-kept secrets. Follow along as we explore the contours, curiosities and creator of this beautiful wonder of the computer age.
"A fractal is a way of seeing infinity." —Benoit B. Mandelbrot
Meet the Fellows
53 years ago this week, electronic “golf-balls” began bouncing their way across the letterheads of corporate America. The IBM Selectric typewriter revolutionized mid-century office memos as typists could now use different fonts and clock up to 90 words a minute–40 more than anything else before it. Good thing white correction fluid was already invented.
ART IN SCIENCE
"Majesty Under Microscopy”
IBM Research - Zurich
Since when did carbon-carbon bonds get so pretty? This nanographene molecule, synthesized in Toulouse, France, shows us the beauty of ‘bond-order discrimination.’ This splendor in chroma is achieved by atomic force microscopy using a carbon monoxide functionalized tip. Luckily, like any work of art, you don’t have to understand it to enjoy it.
"You can’t force creativity, problem solving, and invention. It’s a process that starts from within you.”
INSIDE THE INVENTIVE MIND:
VP, University Programs
Vice Chair, IBM Academy of Tech.
45 years ago, we were there, too.
Names that tune in 3 notes
No, it’s not a contestant from the classic TV game show. It’s an IBM computer that uses algorithmic computation to identify a song’s musical period—Baroque, Classical or Romantic— in only three notes. And when applied to speech patterns, the same technology can be used as an early warning system for Parkinson’s disease and certain kinds of psychiatric disorders. Read on →
IBMers don’t have to remember to circle July 13 on their calendars to celebrate Embrace Your Geekness Day. It’s a daily observance in our hallways, labs and even some parking spots. We love being a haven for Geek Primes because it’s geeks who solve the really tough problems – like putting people on the Moon, cracking the genomic code and storing data on an atomic level. Or in the case of IBM Distinguished Engineer Jerry Denman, it’s making sure that the computer systems powering our malls and online stores keep shopping carts rolling during Black Friday, Cyber Mondays and whenever else we get that collective urge to shop.
We recently interviewed the self-proclaimed IBM Geek for a glimpse into his geekhood:
Tour de Bike Art
Inspiration really does come from anywhere. For SVA student Jennifer Beatty, it’s from old, beat-up bike parts. We especially love what this cyclist and graphic designer has done with Paul Rand’s “Eye Bee M” logo as part of this 100-day long art project. Talk about endurance.
Ooo La La IBM, circa 1957
More than a half century after introducing the IBM 704 to France, this vintage ad has a certain design joie de vivre.