In blog 3 in Oxford Home Schooling’s series on famous mathematicians, we look at the life of Fibonacci.
Fibonacci was born in about 1170 and he lived in Pisa (home of the leaning tower) in Italy. He was also known as Leonardo of Pisa. His father was called Gugliemo Bonacci and the name Fibonacci is a kind of nickname probably derived from “Filius Bonacci”, the Latin for “son of Bonacci”.
Why is he famous?
Fibonacci is most famous for the number sequence named after him. It starts with 0, 1 and from then on each number is equal to the sum of the previous two so the first few terms are 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 etc.
Fibonacci did not actually discover the sequence which bears his name, he just wrote about it in his book Liber Abaci (The book of calculating). In about 1870 the sequence was named after him. Fibonacci did, however, have a fundamental influence on Mathematics. He was one of the first people to introduce our modern number system to Europe.
Links to modern mathematics
Without Fibonacci’s writings on calculations using the Hindu-Arabic number system we might still have been working in Roman numerals!
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