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Renaissance Man. Rock Star. Albert William Does Fractals.

He's a scientist. He's an animator. He's as comfortable onstage with a rock band as he is in the classroom. And he loves to show you his John Deere tractor. And for fun? He makes fractals.

In 1997, Albert William was working in a HazMat suit in a medical research lab at IUPUI when he learned about the newly-formed New Media Program -- a program that would eventually become the School of Informatics and Computing. He quickly combined his bio-medical knowledge with 3D animation techniques and began to produce high-quality videos and illustrations used by health educators, medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies. He has become an expert at all sorts of 3D computer graphics techniques, including stereo video, 3D printing, and virtual reality. And for fun? He makes fractals.

So what exactly is a fractal? According to Albert, "A fractal is a mathematical equation that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale." The fractal equations usually generate a never-ending pattern. The patterns are infinitely complex, and they are self-similar across different scales. "They are created by repeating a simple process over and over in an ongoing feedback loop. They very often mimic nature, such as clouds, rivers, mountains, and trees."

Albert says, "Fractals are very interesting to create using a computer, because it makes it possible to do millions of calculations which define a very fantastic data set that leads to beautiful renderings. Color combinations can use the values to define various boundaries. The mathematics leads to very beautiful, unique images."

What makes a good fractal? "Variability in the patterns, depth and repeatability. If it makes you say 'Wow', and wonder what it means --it's good."

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