By tpm | July 18, 2011
NPR put up a nice podcast on Weekend Edition this past Saturday about Leonardo da Pisa’s (aka Fibonacci) “Book of Calculation.” Most of us are familiar with Fibonacci’s famous sequence of numbers that became known as the Fibonacci numbers, where any number in the sequence after the first two is found by adding the previous two:
1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, …
I have to admit, I wasn’t aware until I heard this podcast what an impact Fibonacci had on the ability of regular people to do arithmetic. Author and NPR correspondent Keith Devlin has a new book out about Fibonacci’s efforts to bring math to the masses called The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetic Revolution. In The Man of Numbers, Devlin explains that Fibonnaci was the first to write a book aimed at the average small businessman, banker, etc. Prior to that time, normal people went to experts of the abacus to have their calculations done. Check out the podcast below.