Fibonacci had a huge impact on math and changed the course of math history. During the early 1200s, Europeans were still using Roman Numerals. It was Fibonnaci that started to convince Europe that they should use the Arabic symbols 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. He used his book "Liber abbaci (meaning Book of the Abacus or Book of Calculating) to persuade the Europeans to use this system. In the book he explains how to do the 4 basic math operations (add, subtract, multiply, and divide) using his new system. Many of us today would find it comical that professional mathematicians had to learn these basic operations but we have to remember that this was a completely new system. It was like learning another language. You are not going to pick it up with a lot of hard work and studying.
This new system allowed us to perform these basic operations much easier than using Roman Numerals. It also saved us alot of space because numbers like 1994 are writen as MDCCCCLXXXXIIII in Roman Numerals. If you want to see how difficult it was using Roman Numerals in Math follow this link http://turner.faculty.swau.edu/mathematics/materialslibrary/roman/
When we hear the name Fibonacci, the first thing that comes to mind is the Fibonacci numbers. That would make sense as it is mostly what he is known for (not as many people know he helped move us away from Roman Numerals). In his book "Liber Abbaci" put in the "Rabbit problem" and the solution below.
How Many Pairs of Rabbits Are Created by One Pair in One YearA certain man had one pair of rabbits together in a certain enclosed place, and one wishes to know how many are created from the pair in one year when it is the nature of them in a single month to bear another pair, and in the second month those born to bear also.
Here is the solution according to Fibonacci:
Because the above written pair in the first month bore, you will double it; there will be two pairs in one month.
One of these, namely the first, bears in the second month, and thus there are in the second month 3 pairs;
of these in one month two are pregnant and in the third month 2 pairs of rabbits are born, and thus there are 5 pairs in the month;
there will be 144 pairs in this [the tenth] month;
to these are added again the 89 pairs that are born in the eleventh month; there will be 233 pairs in this month.
To these are still added the 144 pairs that are born in the last month; there will be 377 pairs, and this many pairs are produced from the above written pair in the mentioned place at the end of the one year.You can indeed see in the margin how we operated, namely that we added the first number to the second, namely the 1 to the 2, and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth and the fourth to the fifth, and thus one after another until we added the tenth to the eleventh, namely the 144 to the 233, and we had the above written sum of rabbits, namely 377, and thus you can in order find it for an unending number of months.
The concept of the Fibonacci sequence gives us this idea of recursive. For something to be recursive, it means that it has to be based on something previously done. We can see that the Fibonacci numbers are recursive. It takes the 2 previous numbers, adds them together, and that gives you the next number.
As we can see Fibonacci was quite important. He allowed us to move away from Roman Numerals which saved us a lot of time. Imagine some of the crazy calculations we would have had to make if we were still using Roman Numerals. Mathematical proofs would be exponentially longer if they were written using Roman Numerals. Fibonacci was able to show the world the Fibonacci Sequence that also introduced us to the idea of something being recursive. He has had and will continue to have a lasting impact on the world of mathematics