Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Fibonacci, the Golden Ratio, and the Mathematics of Nature
Leonardo Fibonacci was born around 1170 to Guglielmo Fibonacci, a wealthy Italian merchant who directed a trading post in Bugia, a port east of Algiers in North Africa (now Bejaia, Algeria). As a young boy, Leonardo traveled with his father during his many business ventures, subsequently encountering the Hindu-Arabic numeral system. Quickly recognizing that performing arithmetic with Hindu-Arabic numerals–which used digits 0 through 9–is infinitely simpler and more efficient than working with Roman numerals, Fibonacci spent the next several years traveling throughout the Mediterranean studying under several prominent Arab mathematicians of the time. Returning to Italy around 1200 at the age of about thirty, he published what he had learned in a text called Liber Abaci (Book of Abacus or Book of Calculation) about two years later, thus popularizing Hindu-Arabic numerals in Europe. Read more . . .