Honors College Senior Thesis Presentations

Title

The Butterfly Effect of Fractals

Presenter Information

Cody WatkinsFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Mathematics

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. David Roach, PhD.

Presentation Format

Oral Presentation

Abstract/Description

This presentation applies concepts in fractal geometry to the relatively new field of mathematics known as chaos theory, with emphasis on the underlying foundation of the field: the butterfly effect. We begin by reviewing concepts useful for an introduction to chaos theory by defining terms such as fractals, transformations, affine transformations, and contraction mappings, as well as proving and demonstrating the contraction mapping theorem. We also show that each fractal produced by the contraction mapping theorem is unique in its fractal dimension, another term we define. We then show and demonstrate iterated function systems and take a closer look at chaotic and dynamical systems, defining terms including terms transitivity, sensitivity to initial conditions, and density of spaces, as well as presenting examples that clearly show these concepts. We go on to define the butterfly effect, specifying that the initial condition is of the upmost importance, as well as introduce attractors, including strange attractors and the Lorenz system (as well as its fractal nature), as well as show applications of these concepts to disciplines such as art, science, and philosophy. We close by reaffirming the fractal nature of the universe, reassuring the reader that chaos is not simply the absence of order, but rather possesses unpredictable qualities which we can observe and ponder.

Location

Waterfield Gallery

Start Date

November 2021

End Date

November 2021

Fall Scholars Week 2021 Event

Honors Senior Presentations

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Nov 18th, 12:30 PM Nov 18th, 1:30 PM

The Butterfly Effect of Fractals

Waterfield Gallery

This presentation applies concepts in fractal geometry to the relatively new field of mathematics known as chaos theory, with emphasis on the underlying foundation of the field: the butterfly effect. We begin by reviewing concepts useful for an introduction to chaos theory by defining terms such as fractals, transformations, affine transformations, and contraction mappings, as well as proving and demonstrating the contraction mapping theorem. We also show that each fractal produced by the contraction mapping theorem is unique in its fractal dimension, another term we define. We then show and demonstrate iterated function systems and take a closer look at chaotic and dynamical systems, defining terms including terms transitivity, sensitivity to initial conditions, and density of spaces, as well as presenting examples that clearly show these concepts. We go on to define the butterfly effect, specifying that the initial condition is of the upmost importance, as well as introduce attractors, including strange attractors and the Lorenz system (as well as its fractal nature), as well as show applications of these concepts to disciplines such as art, science, and philosophy. We close by reaffirming the fractal nature of the universe, reassuring the reader that chaos is not simply the absence of order, but rather possesses unpredictable qualities which we can observe and ponder.