How the Fibonacci sequence has an Indian connection

While the world credits the European mathematician from the middle ages, Leonardo Bonacci, the concept actually has its roots in Indian mathematics.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, November 25, 2019, 10:32 AM IST
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How the Fibonacci sequence has an Indian connection | Photo credits: British Geological Survey/Twitter

As the niche community of mathematicians celebrated the famous Fibonacci Sequence day yesterday, on the 23rd November, which when written as 11/23, signifies the concept of Fibnocia sequence itself. A Twitter user ranted about how the discovery should be credited to Indian mathematics and not the Bonacci, who helped popularise it in the world.

When written as 11/23, it forms part of the Fibonacci Sequence. The Fibonacci sequence is made by numbers that are written in a sequence must be the sum of the two previous numbers in the sequence. For eg, the date, 11/23 when written in a sequence 1123, represents that the latter number is a product of the first two numbers in the sequence. (1+1=2, 1+2=3!)

While the world credits the European mathematician from the middle ages, Leonardo Bonacci, the concept actually has its roots in Indian mathematics.

Leonardo Bonacci wasn’t the first mathematician to discover this sequence, but he definitely popularised it with his book Liber Abaci. The sequence is also referred to as nature’s numbering system, it is often observed by known people in flower patterns, hurricane patterns and even galaxies.

In the book Liber Abaci, authored by Bonacci, the European mathematician has attributed the discovery of the sequence to Indian mathematics.

Yesterday, as Twitter trended the #Fibonacci and thousands of users tweeted using the hashtag, the Twitter account True Indology @TIinExile, busted the myth around the day. In a Twitter thread, he quoted Bonacci from his book Abaci where he confesses that he is simply rewriting the concept he studied from Indian mathematics.

According to the translated version of the book, the author lived in Bugia, Algeria, where a colony of Indian Merchants resided and he was introduced to Indian Mathematics. As presented by the Twitter account True Indology, Abaci calls Greek, Arabic Egyptian Math and Pythagoras to be “erroneous compared to Indian Mathematics".

He further stakes no claim to the concept explained in the book, instead attributes it to Indian mathematics, he writes in the book, " In my book, I have published the doctrine of Mathematics completely according to the Method of Indians. I have COMPLETELY adopted the (Mathematical) Method of Indians because it is the MOST effective".

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