1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144...
These are the first few numbers of the Fibonacci sequence, a series of numbers named after Italian Mathematician Leonardo of Pisa which appear with surprising frequency in mathematics and in nature. The Fibonacci sequence is used in computer algorithms, search techniques, and can be identified in numerous biological settings.
When the Fibonacci numbers are turned into tiles, a Fibonacci Spiral can be seen by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares. Creating a Fibonacci Spiral is a fun and interesting exercise (go ahead and give it a try!) but the true beauty of it is how often the Fibonacci Spiral can be found in nature. We see evidence of Fibonacci in everything from the uncurling of a fern to the branching of trees to the spiraling of some galaxies.
The Fibonacci sequence may be discussed in high school math as an example of a complete sequence, or in relation to computing, but it is equally as interesting to younger students, and a fun kids math learning project is to go out and try to find examples of the Fibonacci Spiral in nature.
Why do we celebrate the Fibonacci sequence on November 23rd? It’s because when written in the mm/dd format, the date forms the first few digits of the Fibonacci sequence. In fact, we can’t wait for 11/23/5813, which will be a super Fibonacci celebration.
Happy Fibonacci Day!