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In this video we are going to take a look at an interesting activity using our soroban to generate the famous Fibonacci Number Sequence. Any term in the sequence is generated by summing the two previous terms. To generate term #7 which is the number 13, you would add terms #5 and #6 giving you 5+8=13. This process can be repeated to generate any number of terms in the sequence.
Fibonacci didn’t actually discover the sequence because it was known in India for hundreds of years before his time where Arabic numerals come from and our modern base10 numbering system. Fibonacci played a role in disseminating the sequence throughout Europe at a time when Roman Numerals were common place.
Who was Fibonacci? He was born in Italy and lived from 1170 ad to 1250 ad. Fibonacci was actually his nickname roughly meaning son of Bonacci. Fibonacci Day is November 23 (11/23) since 1,1,2,3 are the first four terms of the Fibonacci Sequence. It turns out there is an incredible correlation between the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio, Phi, found throughout nature. Using the Fibonacci Sequence to form a series of squares as shown in this spiral pattern. This Golden Spiral is found all throughout nature. For example we find the Golden Spiral in a Nautilus Sea Shell, or the formation of rose petals, or the shape of a hurricane, and we also find it in Leonardo Di Vinci’s famous painting of the Mona Lisa.
Let’s take a closer look at how we can generate the Fibonacci Sequence on the abacus.