Fractacular; Students present annual fractal show

By Guadalupe Santos-Sanchez, Staff Reporter

The many months’ worth of hard work and research done by CNM students was put together for the Math League’s fourth annual Fractal Show, said Vicki Kelsey, Math League president.

The CNM Student Math League hosted this year’s Fractal Show on Nov. 21, she said.

“We look at different aspects of fractals, it is a huge research project that members of the math league do so that we can present this show,” she said.

The hard work and research done by all of the stu­dents that put this together rivals the work and research that is presented in any major research university, she said.

Every year the show is different and presents differ­ent aspects of what a fractal is, she said.

“The presentation is meant to inform and teach, so we set up our presentation to focus on different things,” she said.

The goal of this presentation was to show people how math really relates to their everyday world, in both complex and ordinary ways, she said.

This year the presentation consisted of an intro­duction to fractals, the Fibonacci sequence, fractals in nature, fractals in a complex plane, and the golden ratio, Kelsey said.

The whole presentation also included interac­tive activities and visuals that were passed around to the audience.

This year the show consisted of presenters like DJ Lopez, Vicki Kelsey, Chris Bryer, Eric Torres, Vidar Sanchez, Greg Dugay, and many other people that have a love for fractals, said Math League faculty advi­sor Judy Lalani.

Fractals occur all throughout nature and the universe, Kelsey said.

It is the repetition of self-similarity, so a fractal is something that is looked at down to the smallest dimensions in a microscope and shows similar copies of what it looks like in its larger state,” she said.

“Mathematically we can compute that self-similarity is basically what some people would call defined chaos,” she said.

The Fibonacci sequence was thoroughly explained by Physics League president Chris Bryer and Physics League vice president Eric Torres.

“The Fibonacci sequence is found all over in nature, it is also in architecture and art, and it is an infinite sequence that just repeats itself over and over,” Bryer said.

Fractals were shown in Fibonacci sequence in nature, in art and architecture, and even in a song, he said.

The presentation also allowed for the further expla­nation of how the Fibonacci sequence, the golden ratio, and irrational numbers all relate, said Torres

The presenters also used interactive activities to help better visualize the Fibonacci sequence and the golden ratio, he said.

Vidar Sanchez, secretary of the Student Math League focused on the fractals in nature part of the presentation.

“There are two main characteristics of fractals that I encourage, one is that they are everywhere and the other is their feature of self-similarity,” Sanchez said.

To help the audience better visualize fractals and self-similarity in nature a Romanesco broccoli, which is a plant with a self-similar form was passed around the audience, he said.

Aside from speaking of fractals in nature, Sanchez also spoke of fractals in technology and in medicine.

Aaron Legits, Student Math League treasurer pre­sented the topic of fractals on a complex plane.

At the end of the presentation, audience members were given the chance to ask questions that were then answered by the faculty advisor, Judy Lalani.

The Student Math League is a chartered student organization that meets to work every Saturday at 10 a.m. in the JS building, room 303, Kelsey said.

They hope, with the Fractal Show, to peak people’s interest in math and the Student Math League, she said.

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