Leonardo Bonacci was born in Pisa, Italy in 1170. In 1506 he was referred to as Lionardo Fibonacci in a publication. Then in 1838 that morphed into just Fibonacci. Whatever the moniker, he was critically important to mathematics. He's the guy who introduced the use of the Arabic number system to the western world. Good riddance to those strange Roman numerals! He's also the originator of the mathematical sequence that controls the number of spirals in various plant inflorescences, like these mugo pine cones. His original description was of generations of rabbits. Remember the other day when I mentioned end slope. Bad memory! It should have been end behavior, describing the ultimate nature of a graph line (Katie set me straight, several times). Can you imagine the end behavior of that line of rabbits?
Fibonacci's spirals show up in all kinds of contexts. Here's a teasel head using math. After yesterday's entry, so was I. That advanced algebra Katie's doing is very interesting. Including labels for things that are very new to me. End slope? Then I remembered the old joke - that is, a joke about old people. The one where you're going out to lunch with your new friends. How much of new math is really new? And how much has been forgotten in the half century since the last math class? Before thinking about that, and spiralling into the doldrums, take up algebra! We can now have that fun of discovery all over again!
For any of you that aren't current, we're not talking about plant stalks. STEM is science, tech, engineering and math. It's an acronym in common use in today's schools. Aster family plants are amazingly well schooled. Their math, physics and chemistry work together to determine how many spirals there will be in the discs. The math part is the Fibonachi sequence; 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, and so on. Each number the sum of the previous two. The physics and chemistry of translating this into flowers is way beyond me, but not beyond the daisy!