The most ubiquitous, and perhaps the most intriguing, number pattern in mathematics is the Fibonacci sequence. In this simple pattern beginning with two ones, each succeeding number is the sum of the two numbers immediately preceding it (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, ad infinitum). Far from being just a curiosity, this sequence recurs in structures found throughout nature – from the arrangement of whorls on a pinecone to the branches of certain plant stems. All of which is astounding evidence for the deep mathematical basis of the natural world.

With admirable clarity, two veteran math educators take us on a fascinating tour of the many ramifications of the Fibonacci numbers. They begin with a brief history of a distinguished Italian discoverer, who, among other accomplishments, was responsible for popularizing the use of Arabic numerals in the West. Turning to botany, the authors demonstrate, through illustrative diagrams, the unbelievable connections between Fibonacci numbers and natural forms (pineapples, sunflowers, and daisies are just a few examples).