Fractals, specifically the Mandelbrot and Julia sets, were what really got me interested in programming. I remember having my Apple IIc cranking away for days generating these images. That’s exactly what’s missing from the CRUD filled world of web apps – there’s really nothing you’d wait for days with baited breath to see and then just stare in awe at. In short – there’s nothing very spectacular in the web programmers daily grind.

By the time I got around to studying computer science and programming for a living I’d already done fractals, chaos theory, some basic AI (genetic)… little did I know that those had almost nothing to do with a career in programming (unless you’re an academic). Bummer. Oops.

I stumbled across some even cooler images based on Mandelbrot that were “discovered” in 1993. Much more computationally brutal but still nice and elegant and simple. The math behind Mandelbrot sets is really very simple (as in I, who suck at math, understood how to generate them by 9th grade).

The Buddhabrot

And the even cooler (check out the originals) Nebulabrot: