Review of SuperFractals
Have you ever sat in a room and found yourself thinking “I’m not sure I know what this is, but I know that I like it”?
If you were at last Thursday’s SuperFractals event, you may have had just those thoughts.
If you haven’t heard of fractals before, the blog post “What the fractal?” provides a useful introduction to the fractal geometry concept.
Now, enter Prof Michael F Barnsley. A presenter so buzzing with energy that he could probably power the lights in the Science Exchange. A man so excited by his topic that when he tripped off the stage mid-sentence, he just kept talking.
To put you in the mood of the evening, let me quote Prof Barnsley as he first took to the stage: “Yoikes”.
This was followed up with a friendly statement that he would explain “deep mathematics without a single formula”. I’m pretty sure my sigh of relief was not the only one in the room.
It was about now that my thoughts of “just what am I listening to” started happening. But with a presenter as enthusiastic as Prof Barnsley, I tried my best to stay with him. How could I not?
During the break, we had the opportunity to view some of Prof Barnsley’s images, look through his publications, and play with a fractal imaging app, a FrangoCamera. Chatting to some other attendees, it was clear I wasn’t alone in my mild bewilderment. This was astonishing, perplexing, and exciting stuff. Quite a lot of the crowd, though, were looking over the books full of formulas with what appeared to be intrigue and comprehension. So, once again, RiAus successfully brought together a mixed crowd of art, science and maths enthusiasts. Given that fractals intersect science and art so well, that’s hardly surprising.
Prof Barnsley finished the night by tying his deep mathematics into the beautiful simulations and artwork. At the beginning of the night, I had entered the room with my mind on science and I left thinking about the art and the imagery.
In the end, I am going to have to do some further reading about fractals, never mind ‘super fractals’. This is a beautiful thing, but I need to learn more. Yet, isn’t that what the best talks are about? To enthuse you and lead you on a new path of discovery.
I was left with an enthusiastic desire to learn. To better understand the beauty and form that exists in the world around us. Truly, that is a beautiful thing.
By Rose Wodecki
View the event page – SuperFractals (22 March 2012)