Student: OK, I've seen lots of fractals now; what makes a fractal a fractal???
Mentor: Let's list the properties they all have in common:
Mentor: These are the characteristics that Benoit Mandelbrot (who invented the term) ascribed to Regular Fractals in 1975.
Student: Why call 'em fractals??
Mentor: Mandelbrot used that word because in Latin, fractus means broken. Mandelbrot viewed these things as being highly irregular and crinkley. Another good reason to use the word fractal is that they have fractional dimension! Before I can explain that, we need to talk about Dimension and Scale.