Ron Eglash: The Fractals at the Heart of African Designs

You’ve probably heard of fractals, the fascinating repeating mathematical pattern of shape and form that creates beautiful designs which theoretically continue in scale to infinity. The natural world is not the only place where we have discovered fractals, but there are villages in Africa that are laid out in fractal patterns.

"I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof." That is how Ron Eglash greeted many African families he met while researching the fractal patterns he’d noticed in villages across the continent.