Fractals in a first year undergraduate seminar

James R. Hughes, Elizabethtown College


The study of basic fractal geometry can help build students' enthusiasm for learning early in their undergraduate careers. To most undergraduate students, fractals are new, visually appealing, useful, and mathematically accessible. As a result, fractals can be an effective vehicle for introducing and reinforcing multiple modes of learning, which at many institutions is one of the main goals of general first-year undergraduate education. This article describes how fractals are used in one institution's "Freshman Seminar" program to help accomplish these goals.