Skip to main content

Listen: Mathematician Keith Devlin on "Leonardo of Pisa and the First Personal Computing Revolution"

Devlin - Kitao Lecture

Audio Player Controls
0:00 / 0:00

During the spring semester, Mathematician Keith Devlin delivered the annual Kaori Kitao lecture on "Leonardo of Pisa and the First Personal Computing Revolution." Based on Devlin’s book The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci’s Arithmetical Revolution (Walker & Co, July 2011) and his co-published companion e-book Leonardo and Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years (Amazon Kindle), the lecture makes the case for the first personal computing revolution taking place not in Silicon Valley in the 1980's but in Pisa in the Thirteenth Century. According to Devlin, the medieval counterpart to Steve Jobs was a young Italian called Leonardo, better known today by the nickname Fibonacci. Thanks to a recently discovered manuscript in a library in Florence, the story of how the little known genius behind the famous name Fibonacci came to launch the modern commercial world can now be told. 

Devlin is a co-founder and Executive Director of Stanford University's H-STAR institute, a co-founder of the Stanford Media X research network, and a Senior Researcher at CSLI. He is a World Economic Forum Fellow, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society. His current research is focused on the use of different media to teach and communicate mathematics to diverse audiences. He also appears as "the Math Guy" on National Public Radio. 


Submissions Welcome

The Communications Office invites all members of the Swarthmore community to share videos, photos, and story ideas for the College's website. Have you seen an alum in the news? Please let us know by writing