Thirteenth-century Italian mathematician.
Fibonacci often accompanied his father, an Italian merchant, on his travels to Syria, Greece and Egypt. During these travels, he came to realize that Indian methods of calculations were by far the best and the most efficient. Upon his return home in 1202, he wrote his historic book, the Liber Abaci, which has a slightly misleading title, since the “book of the abacus” deals mainly with algebraic methods and with problems in which the use of the Hindu-Arabic numeral system is emphasized. Divided into fifteen chapters, the Liber abaci presents the nine Hindu numeral symbols, as well as the sign zero, whose name is derived from zephirum, the Latin form of the Arabic term sifr.*
* Jean-Paul Colette, Histoire des mathématiques, ERPI, 1973, p.143