MAA Writing Awards
Fractals, Graphs, and Fields
Year of Award: 2007
Publication Information: The American Mathematical Monthly, Vol. 110, June-July 2003, pp. 503-515
Summary: One of the most amazing facets of mathematics is the experience of starting with a problem in one area of mathematics and then following the trail through several other areas to the solution (or several versions of the solution). The author illustrates this with a problem that starts out as a problem in rendering the attractor of an Iterated Function System (IFS), which leads to a solution that involves finding an Eulerian cycle in a certain graph and then to finding generators for the multiplicative group of a finite field.
About the Author: Franklin Mendivil received his Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996 and is a professor at Acadia University. His research interests include fractals and their applications in imaging and also work in genetic algorithms and other types of stochastic methods for global optimization.