The Nosh in the Millennium Student Center on the UMSL campus. Photo: Cate Marquis / The Current ©

By Albert Nall, Staff Writer for The Current

UMSL’s Math Club celebrates Fibonacci Numbers Day on Monday, December 3,  by hosting an event in the Nosh where students can come learn about the number sequence. There will be videos, contests, and free t-shirts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jessica Bleile, President of the Mathematics Club, defines the Fibonacci sequence as an interesting mathematical structure that occurs as a part of nature. The numbers in the sequence are determined by adding together the previous two numbers. Under the rules of the Fibonacci, the first two numbers in the sequence are 0 and 1 (alternatively, 1 and 1), and each successive number is the sum of the previous two. The Fibonacci sequence is generally defined in a recurring relationship in an equation that defines an order when one or more initial terms are given. Each term of the sequence is then defined as a function of the preceding terms.

“Fibonacci Number Day should be celebrated on November 23. However, because of fall break, we are celebrating on December 3, which is the Monday of the week prior to finals,” Bleile said.

Fibonacci Numbers Day was established in honor of Leonardo of Pisa, an Italian mathematician better known by the name of Fibonacci, who introduced the counting sequence to the West. Fibonacci sequences are widely used in computer data storage and processing. Fibonacci Day recognizes the significance and usefulness of Leonardo of Pisa’s many contributions to sciences such as geometry and trigonometry.

“Next semester, the Math Club will continue with the Math Club Problem of the Month for the Current, hopefully have more lectures, and we will also hold Pi Day, which will be our biggest event of the year,” Bleile said.

The number pi is a measured perpetual number that is the ratio of a circle’s perimeter to its width. Pi is approximately equal to 3.14159 but decimals never end and never repeat. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives established March 14 as Pi Day.

Membership in the Math Club at UMSL is open to all students on campus. The current faculty adviser of the Math Club is Dr. Ronald Dotzel in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.