Review: Nova "Hunting the Hidden Dimension"

Program: Nova “Hunting the Hidden Dimension”
Watch online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/fractals/program.html

Let me start off my first KLRU blog post by saying that as far as I know, I am officially KRLU’s first blogger under the age of 20.  As a college student at the University of Texas at Austin, I rarely have time to watch television.  (Though, I ALWAYS make time for an away Longhorn football game).  When at KLRU, I tag a significant amount of promos and often times see interesting segments that I would love to watch but never get the chance.  When I was asked to watch KLRU for work, I was frustrated because I didn’t think I would have time in my busy schedule.  I was then reminded that KLRU has many of their shows online and I can watch at my convenience.  You got to love the shift in KLRU to allow for the new emerging standard of time shifting via webcast!

Nova: Hunting the Hidden Dimension tells the story of the development of Fractals and their application into new fields of science.  For those of you who do not know what a Fractal is, it is a repetitive geometric pattern discovered by Benoit Mandelbrot in the 1950’s when he helped IBM solve the problem of transporting computer information via telephone lines (the early internet).  At first the Mandelbrot Set, as it was called, was refuted by many prominent mathematicians and knowledgeable people in Geometry.  This episode of Nova documents Mandelbrot’s efforts to have his new field of math accepted in addition to current standards at the time.

After watching Nova, I realized that we are surrounded by fractals.  From shirt designs to the miniature antennas in our cell phones, fractals are everywhere.  Scientists are currently doing research in fractals to detect cancer, heart disease and the amount of CO2 an entire rain forest could absorb.  Fractals have been used in special effects in movies to create more life-like graphics.  They can be viewed in the natural structures, from blood vessels to flowers.  You cannot escape the breadth of fractals.  Nova: Hunting the Hidden Dimension is a must see to better understand the world around us.  (Well in this case, it could even be considered the world inside us).

– Jared Kastriner

About the reviewer: Jared works in KLRU’s onair marketing department helping create the promos viewers see between programs. He is a business major at the University of Texas.