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# The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution

In 1202, a 32-year old Italian finished one of the most influential books of all time, which introduced modern arithmetic to Western Europe. Devised in India in the 7th and 8th centuries and brought to North Africa by Muslim traders, the Hindu-Arabic system helped transform the West into the dominant force in science, technology, and commerce, leaving behind Muslim culture
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Hardcover, 183 pages

Published
July 5th 2011
by Walker & Company
(first published 2011)

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*Liber Abbaci*, a manuscript filled with practical examples of real use of the ...more

This was also a very educational read. I learned many facts about Fibonacci that I didn't know or wouldn't know to ask. Such as Fibonacci is not his real name, it's Leonardo (another talented Italian Leonardo). O ...more

Fibonacci was named Leonardo, and came from Pisa, hence his name in his time would have been "Leonardo Pisano" (Leonard from Pisa). The name "Fibonacci" comes from "Filius Bonacci ...more

I do not attribute it all to Devlin however. He chose a very difficult and hardly simple task. As Devlin himself admitted, there is scant history on Fibonacci the man, let alone his mathematics. Devlin must have had ...more

*was*Fibonacci. Actually he lived from around 1170 to 1250, his name was Leonardo Pisano (Leonardo of Pisa) and his real claim to fame was the popu ...more

The amazing point to me was how this was in the days before Al ...more

new words: incommensurable, portolan

How about: This is not a book, it's an essay that was pushed far beyond its means. What's worse, the essay part lacks an effective argument.

Or: This is equal parts down-talking, back-tracking, bush-beating-around, and essay.

Or even: The total effect of reading this might be less effective and educational than reading the page on Wikipedia for Fibonacci.

Or maybe: I got this free, if I had to pay the $25 cover price for it, I'd be absolutely livid. I mean, I get ...more

The book centers on Leonard of Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, and his ground-breaking work of mathematics, Libe ...more

*Liber Abbaci*, which also helped bring the Hindu-Arabic numeral system to the West. Precisely because he was so successful, the full extent of his influence has been greatly underestimated, and his revolution was largely forgotten for hundreds of years. This book aims to right this wrong by examining what it was Leonardo did and how his wor ...more

On the one hand, it deals with a fairly obscure branch of intellectual history and tries to do scholarly justice to the subject matter, with long quotations from mathematical texts and lengthy explanations of possible mansucript transmission. Yet the paucity of appropriate citations, the unecessary repetition, and the b ...more

Leonardo of Pisa, also known as Fibonacci, was a mathematician who seems to have been most responsible for popularizing Arabic numerals (which were actually thought up in India) and also for showing how arithematic and algebra could be done with them. Leonardo seems to have born in Pisa about 1170 and was still alive about 1240. He seems to have learned about Arabic numerals and the techniques of arithematic from Arabs when he was in the Algerian port of Bejaia (then called Bugia) where his fat

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where the first two numbers are 1's and each succeeding number is the sum of the two previous. But Fibonacci was also the first European author to fully recognize the importance of Hindu/Arabic numbers, and he wrote a famous text: Liber Abacci, about their use. (This is properly translated as book of calculation, not book of the abacus; indeed, it shows how to replace a ...more

Detto questo, è un libro divulgativo interessante e mette in luce l'importanza di questo matematico, di cui generalmente si sa poco.

Parts of the book are less interesting. I ...more

What he has to say seems like it could fit in a much smaller work, but the math could easily be a much greater thing. For a popular audience, this is at once both too little and too much. But i ...more

As another reviewer put it:

"there just isn't as much substance to the book as I was looking for. There is a dearth of information surrounding Leonardo's life, and the author is forced to include chapters about Leonardo's potential sources and the other books written because of Liber Abbaci."

Leonardo is to Arithmetic as Steve Jobs and Bill Gate to Personal Computers

He was born in 1170, his father sent him to Bugia. Bugia was the port where european and arab merchants made their trades. Chapter 2 ...more

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Dr. Keith Devlin is a co-founder and Executive Director of the university's H-STAR institute, a Consulting Professor in the Department of Mathematics, a co-founder of the Stanford Media X research network, and a Senior Researcher at CSLI. He is a World Economic Forum Fellow and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His current research is focused on the use of differ
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“Underlying all this activity—in the customhouses, on the wharves, in every place of business—were numbers. Merchants measured out their wares and negotiated prices; customs officers calculated taxes to be levied on imports; scribes and stewards prepared ships’ manifests, recording the values in long columns using Roman numerals. They would have put their writing implements to one side and used either their fingers or a physical abacus to perform the additions, then picked up pen and parchment once again to enter the subtotals from each page on a final page at the end. With no record of the computation itself, if anyone questioned the answer, the entire process would have to be repeated.”
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“When he was about fourteen years of age, Leonardo would have left the fondaco and most likely traveled with an older merchant, a form of apprenticeship system common in those days. Around that time his father summoned him to Bugia. No one knows exactly when he made this voyage. In the introduction to Liber abbaci, he later wrote: “When my father, who had been appointed by his country as public notary in the customs at Bugia acting for the Pisan merchants going there, was in charge, he summoned me to him while I was still a child, and having an eye to usefulness and future convenience, desired me to stay there and receive instruction in the school of accounting.”
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