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
Honey, I shrunk the supercomputer
Supercomputing power that once filled a room now fits in a postage stamp-sized chip. Just as amazing is what these chips can do. Take SyNAPSE, IBM’s tiny new neurosynaptic chip. By emulating our brain’s computing efficiency, these little wonders mean big gains for small sensor-equipped devices. Like a tumbleweed-like robot that can roll around disaster zones on search and rescue missions, or glasses that give the blind a new way to navigate their surroundings. Lots of good things come in this small package…just remember where you put it.
Backspace to 1961 (via Instagram) #TBT
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 →