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lecture9 - Fibonacci ,whoweknowtodayas...

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HISTORY OF MATHEMATICS – LECTURE 9 – MONDAY 4 TH OCTOBER Fibonacci While some would contend that the greatest achievement of Leonardo of Pisa, who we know today as Fibonacci (c. 1170 1250), was to bring the work of others to the attention of those in Europe, there seems little doubt that Fibonacci himself possessed great talent, and was the leading European mathematician during the Middle Ages. Although born in Pisa, Fibonacci was raised by his father in North Africa, and became aware of the work of Eastern and Arabic mathematicians during extended visits to Egypt, Sicily, Greece, and Syria. He quickly realized the tremendous benefit when applying the Hindu Arabic digits 0 9 to arithmetic calculations (as opposed to Roman numerals), and returned to Pisa at the age of 30 to begin writing down all that he had learned overseas. His most famous work, the Liber Abaci (Book of Counting), was published in 1202, and his algebraic methods clearly demonstrate the influence of Persian mathematicians such as al Khowârizmî and Abû Kâmil (who we studied in Lecture 7). Much of Fibonacci’s reputation as a great mathematician in his own right is built around a later book, the Liber Quadratorum
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