Fibonacci was an Italian mathematician who lived from about 1170 to 1240. He was born in the city of Pisa, and many historians believe he died there as well. Many historians and mathematicians characterize Fibonacci as one of the most important western mathematicians of the Middle Ages.
Fibonacci’s greatest accomplishment was the introduction of the Hindu-Arabic numbering system to Europe around the beginning of the 13th century. Prior to this point, Europeans primarily relied on Roman numerals. However, Fibonacci felt that Hindu-Arabic numerals were much easier to use when performing arithmetic, which led him to publish “Liber Abaci,” a book that outlined the new numbering system.
Fibonacci is also famous for something called “Fibonacci numbers,” which refers to a sequence, or pattern, of numbers. In a Fibonacci series, each number is equal to the sum of the two previous numbers. For example, 1 1 2 3 5 is a Fibonacci sequence, as one plus one equals two; two plus one equals three; and two plus three equals five. Fibonacci did not invent the sequence; he merely introduced it to the Western world. The pattern was known in India as early as the sixth century.
In the 1800s, the city of Pisa erected a statue of Fibonacci.