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Fibonacci, Leonardo

equations system arabian series

[fibo nah chee] ( c .1170– c .1250) Italian mathematician: introduced the Arabian numeral system to Europe.

Fibonacci’s father was an Italian consul in Algeria, where Fibonacci himself was educated from the age of 12 by an Arabian mathematician. No doubt because of this he learned of the Arabian (originally Hindu) system of numerals, and through his Book of the Abacus (1202) he demonstrated how they could be used to simplify calculations. This resulted in the widespread adoption of the system in Europe.

Fibonacci was primarily interested in the determination of roots of equations, his main work, in 1225, dealt with second order Diophantine equations (indeterminate equations with rational coefficients for which a rational solution is required) and was unsurpassed for 400 years. He also discovered the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 …), a series in which each successive number is the sum of the preceding two. This series has many curious properties, its appearance in leaf growth patterns being one biological example.

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