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Finding Fibonacci

The Quest to Rediscover the Forgotten Mathematical Genius Who Changed the World

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

A compelling firsthand account of Keith Devlin's ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story

In 2000, Keith Devlin set out to research the life and legacy of the medieval mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, popularly known as Fibonacci, whose book Liber abbaci has quite literally affected the lives of everyone alive today. Although he is most famous for the Fibonacci numbers—which, it so happens, he didn't invent—Fibonacci's greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. In 1202, Liber abbaci—the "Book of Calculation"—introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Yet Fibonacci was long forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized.

Finding Fibonacci is Devlin's compelling firsthand account of his ten-year quest to tell Fibonacci's story. Devlin, a math expositor himself, kept a diary of the undertaking, which he draws on here to describe the project's highs and lows, its false starts and disappointments, the tragedies and unexpected turns, some hilarious episodes, and the occasional lucky breaks. You will also meet the unique individuals Devlin encountered along the way, people who, each for their own reasons, became fascinated by Fibonacci, from the Yale professor who traced modern finance back to Fibonacci to the Italian historian who made the crucial archival discovery that brought together all the threads of Fibonacci's astonishing story.

Fibonacci helped to revive the West as the cradle of science, technology, and commerce, yet he vanished from the pages of history. This is Devlin's search to find him.

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 27, 2017 – Stanford mathematician Devlin (The Unfinished Game) leads a cheerful pursuit to rediscover the hero of 13th-century European mathematics, taking readers across centuries and through the back streets of medieval and modern Italy in this entertaining and surprising history. Devlin's target is Leonardo of Pisa (later known as Leonardo Fibonacci), a mathematician whose book Liber abbaci played a key role in the making of the modern world. Leonardo was the son of a prosperous merchant in Pisa, a major trade hub between Europe and the Arab world, and he would have had plenty of hands-on experience with practical math and algebra in the marketplace. His book, filled with "recreational" math problems, was well known in its time, Devlin says, and it spawned an entire popular genre of abbacus books, only to be forgotten until the 1960s, some 800 years later. From the busy streets of Pisa's Piazza dei Miracoli and Leaning Tower to the ornate buildings of the University of Siena and the mysterious chambers of the Biblioteca Riccardiana, Devlin relates Leonardo's adventures with brio and charm. Readers will enjoy this deft and engaging mix of history, mathematics, and personal travelogue.
Finding Fibonacci
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  • $20.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mathematics
  • Published: Mar 07, 2017
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Seller: Princeton University Press
  • Print Length: 256 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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