Devlin, Keith Finding Fibonacci

ISBN 13: 9780691192307

Finding Fibonacci

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9780691192307: Finding Fibonacci
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A mathematician'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, or the "Book of Calculation," introduced modern arithmetic to the Western world. Although most famous for the Fibonacci numbers-which, it so happens, he didn't discover-Fibonacci's greatest contribution was as an expositor of mathematical ideas at a level ordinary people could understand. Yet Fibonacci was forgotten after his death, and it was not until the 1960s that his true achievements were finally recognized. Drawing on the diary he kept of his quest, Devlin describes the false starts and disappointments, the unexpected turns, and the occasional lucky breaks he encountered in his search. 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.

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Review:

"[A] jaunty book."--James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review

"Devlin 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."--Publishers Weekly

"Finding Fibonacci showcases Devlin's writerly flair."--Davide Castelvecchi, Nature

"[Devlin] talks his way into Italian research libraries in search of early manuscripts, photographs all 11 street signs on Via Leonardo Fibonacci in Florence and strives to cultivate a love for numbers in his readers."--Andrea Marks, Scientific American

"Engaging and entertaining."--Library Journal

"Personal and lively."--Adhemar Bultheel, European Mathematical Society

"Devlin's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious."--Tony Mann, Times Higher Education

From the Back Cover:

"A charmingly personal account of Keith Devlin's long quixotic search to understand the man, Leonardo Bonacci, better known as Fibonacci, as well as the thirteenth-century mathematician's surprisingly pervasive influence."--John Allen Paulos, author of Innumeracy and A Numerate Life

"Lovers of history, travel, and mathematics alike will relish this journey through time to ancient worlds, as master expositor Keith Devlin navigates Italy to uncover the beginnings of modern math. Fascinating!"--Danica McKellar, New York Times bestselling author of Math Doesn't Suck

"Though most of us only know about Leonardo of Pisa (aka Fibonacci) because of the numbers named after him, he was in fact the Steve Jobs of the thirteenth century who ushered in a revolution--as we learn from this fascinating book that reads by turns as a detective novel, a moving personal journey, and a meditation on the fate of modernity. Highly recommended to all lovers of math and history."--Edward Frenkel, professor of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of Love and Math

"An unusual and fascinating personal account of a modern mathematician's quest to separate truth from myth and show us the real 'Fibonacci.'"--Ian Stewart, author of Professor Stewart's Incredible Numbers

"Interesting and engaging. Devlin succeeds in making the reader care about his quest to understand Leonardo the person. He conveys the sense of awe and reverence at holding in your hands a document that has come to you straight from centuries before."--Dana Mackenzie, author of The Universe in Zero Words: The Story of Mathematics as Told through Equations

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