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Fibonacci Day

Knock knock
Knock knock knock
Knock knock knock knock knock!"

"Who's there?"


~ Math humour

There's a new mathematical tartan to add to your set/sett! Fibonacci Day, November 23rd, is one of the fun and mathematically inspired dates of the year, reckoned from today's date's digits in the month/day format "1, 1, 2, 3", which forms the first part of this well known recursive number sequence. This tartan is based on the first 8 numbers of the Fibonacci sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 ... named for the Italian Mathematician known as Fibonacci (Leonardo Bonacci (1175 – 1250). His interest in this number sequence (first described by 6th century Indian mathematicians) was based on his theoretical study of how quickly rabbits could breed in ideal circumstances! Fibonacci numbers (in which subsequent numbers can be derived by adding the previous), are a natural sequence which describes certain patterns in nature, often appearing in some leaf arrangement in plants, such as sunflowers and pinecone bracts! 🐇 🐇 🐇 🐇 🐇

Fibonacci Day is celebrated November 23, using month-first notation 1-1-2-3, 11/23, based on the Fibonacci series begining 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, ... a pattern of counting where each number is the sum of the previous two.


Fibonacci Day recognises the importance and value of Italian mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci’s contributions to mathematics and the prevalance of mathematics in the natural world.


By designer Chris Sanyk, the pattern and colour of stitches in the tartan were chosen based on both the sequence and the colours of the Italian flag.

Leonardo of Pisa, sometimes known as Leonardo Fibonacci did not actually invent or discover the Fibonacci sequence (which first appears in Indian mathematics in connection with Sanskirt prosody), but he used it as an example in his book, Liber Abaci, when studying the idealized population growth of rabbits.

Fibonacci sequences appear in many biological settings  - the branching in trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruitlets of a pineapple, the flowering of artichoke, the uncurling of a fern, the arrangement of seeds in a pine cone, and much more.  

Though indeed favored by nature and with interesting mathematical properties, the Fibonacci sequence and its mathematical cousin (Phi, the "golden ratio") do not appear as widely as some have alleged, claiming their mysterious presence in art, architecture, human body proportions, etc ... . The purportedly ubiquitous nature of these  "celebrity numbers" appears to be a bit of wishful  "number gossip" generated by ardent, but not rigorously mathematical pattern seekers, and patiently debunked by mathematicians!

For more on the Fibonacci sequence in nature, click the collage!

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