BOOK REVIEW: The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution by Keith Devlin | Science News

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BOOK REVIEW: The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution by Keith Devlin

Review by Devin Powell

By
10:06am, August 12, 2011

Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci, is best remembered today for introducing a sequence of numbers: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 and so on, each number after 0 and 1 equaling the sum of the two before it. The Fibonacci sequence is closely connected to the “golden ratio” used in art and architecture and turns up frequently in mathematics and nature.

For Devlin, NPR’s “Math Guy,” Leonardo of Pisa is much more:  he’s the man who brought arithmetic to the West — a celebrity of 13th century Italy.

“The likes of Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates will always be linked to the rise of the personal computer, and in this way Leonardo should be linked to the rise
of modern arithmetic,” Devlin writes.

The book, which draws heavily on academic sources, pieces together the little that is know

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