Monday, June 16, 2014

History of Math

Who is Fibonacci?
Leonardo Pisano Bigollo, known as Fibonacci, was born in 1170 and died in 1250.  He was an Italian mathematician known by some to be the "most talented western mathematician of the Middle Ages."  He is best known to the modern world for the spreading of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system by the use of his book, Book of Calculation, and for a number sequence named after him called the Fibonacci sequence. 

After Fibonacci recognized that using the Hindu-Arabic numeral system was easier than roman numerals, he traveled throughout the Mediterranean world under one of the leading Arab mathematicians of that time.  When he returned back, he wrote down what he had learned in what is called the Book of Calculation.  The Book of Calculation advocated the use of digits 0-9 and place value.  This book also showed the practical importance of the numeral system by applying to things such as bookkeeping, conversion of weights, and the calculation of interest.  Fibonacci solved a problem involving growth of population of rabbits based on idealized assumptions.  The solution, known as the Fibonacci sequence, was known to Indian mathematicians as early as the 6th century.  I found it surprising that the sequence is known after Fibonacci but he was not technically the first to discover it.  The reason the sequence is named after him, however, is because his book introduced this idea to the West. 

I came across a source that introduced how Fibonacci sequence can be used with gambling and lotteries --Who doesn't want an easier way to win!?  While many speculate that the use of the Fibonacci sequence will provide an edge in picking lottery numbers or bets in gambling, the truth is that the outcome is all chance.  However, there is a betting system based off the Fibonacci system called the Martingale progression that is used in online roulette and casinos where the pattern of bets placed follows a Fibonacci progression, that is each new bet is the sum of the two previous bets.  If a number wins, the bet goes back two numbers in the sequence because their sum was equal to the winning bet.  
The Fibonacci system is like the Martingale progression but the bets stay lower which doubles up each time.  The downside is that the Fibonacci roulette system does not cover all the losses in a bad streak.  Again, odds are always in favor of the casino or lottery, these are just ideas to make the playing of bets more methodical.    


RoundScenario 1Scenario 2Scenario 3
Bet 1Bet 1 and loseBet 1 and loseBet 1 and win
Bet 2Bet 1 and loseBet 1 and loseBet 1 and win
Bet 3Bet 2 and winBet 2 and loseBet 1 and lose
Bet 4-Bet 3 and winBet 1 and lose
Bet 5--Bet 2 and win
Net ResultEven at 0Down by 1Ahead by 2


  1. I really like the reference to gambling! Really interesting to know that Fibonacci gets nod for this strategy even though I'm pretty sure you get kicked out of casinos if you try to use it!

  2. Good Fibonacci number situation. Do you believe it?

    For content/complete this post could either use a bit more math or history to be an exemplar.