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What's the history of Fibonacci?

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Quick Answer

Leonardo Pisano, most often referred to by his nickname Fibonacci, was one of the most famous mathematicians of the Middle Ages. He made several contributions to modern mathematics, including the pattern now known as the Fibonacci sequence.

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Full Answer

Fibonacci was born in Pisa, Italy, around 1175 A.D. In his youth, he studied mathematics in North Africa while traveling to various countries with his father, who was a diplomat. Once he returned to Italy as an adult, he wrote several works concerning mathematics. His most famous piece was "Liber Abaci," written in 1202. In later life, he probably served as an adviser to the local government of Pisa.

In the early Middle Ages, Roman numerals were still in use. However, Fibonacci's works highlighted the benefits of the Hindu-Arabic number system. He also introduced the modern decimal system and the concept of zero to mainstream Europe.

In "Liber Abaci," Fibonacci explained his method of calculating how many pairs of rabbits are created by one pair in a full year. In explaining his solution, he introduced the pattern now known as the Fibonacci sequence. The pattern consists of beginning with the number one and calculating the next term by adding the preceding two terms. Therefore, the sequence began as one, one, two, three, five. Later mathematicians found that the Fibonacci sequence was visible in nature, such as in the arrangement of a sunflower's seeds and the design of a snail's shell.

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