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MERLOT II


    

Comment


Material:

Coastline (Mathematics, Fractals)

Rating: 4 stars
Used in Course: Not used in course
Submitted by: Rakhi Sachdeva (Student), Nov 16, 2003
Comment: The Fractal Coastline site is thought provoking and quite informative. It is
laid out very methodically and the two examples provided have elaborate steps to
enhance the grasp of concept. I perused through the java applet but it was not
as informative as the text. Although it conveyed the concept that was stated in
the text but not without reading the text over again before being able to
interpret the results.

I have a map hanging up against my bedroom wall and never in a zillion years it
stuck me the complexity involved in coastline measurement. Anytime I wanted to
get the distance I would count the number of longitudinal (or latitudinal lines)
and size it using the scale indicated on the map. It was pretty interesting to
learn that coastlines like many other natural objects often exhibit fractal
characteristics and that two distinguishing characteristics of a fractal are
self-similarity at different scales and fractional (non-integer) dimension.

The site is pretty informative for people who would like to learn about the
existence of fractals in real world. Also it briefly touches upon the usage of
log-log graph paper. Nevertheless it took me a while to understand the contents
of the site, I believe to have good understanding of the topic the prerequisite
in geometry and fractal must be met.