Fibonacci Sequence Talk

Talk examines math phenomenon linking music, art, science and engineering.

From the recent best-seller “The Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown to Bill Amend’s “Fox Trot” comic strip to Black Star’s hip-hop song “Astronomy (8th Light),” the centuries-old Fibonacci sequence continues to fascinate and inspire modern scholars, writers, artists and engineers. Dr. Lanny Lanford, Professor of Music and Director of Spartanburg Methodist College Music Programs, will examine these remarkable mathematical links occurring all around us in his Sept. 29 presentation, “The Fibonacci Sequence: Coincidences of Intrigue.”

Lanford’s talk will be held in Davis Mission Chapel on the SMC campus at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of integers, starting with 0, 1 and continuing 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and with each new number being the sum of the previous two. Named for 11th century Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa, known as Fibonacci, the mathematical pattern appears to occur naturally throughout nature, suggesting a fundamental relationship to life itself. Lanford’s talk examines the pattern across a variety of subjects. “Could it be that a mathematical equation reveals an astonishing link between geometry, music, microbiology, botany, finance, art, architecture and aerospace?” he asks. “A look through Fibonacci’s window leads us to some intriguing conclusions.”

Lanford’s talk is part of SMC’s Interdisciplinary Series, which features performances, speakers and art experiences that enhance the liberal arts mission of the college. According to Kris Neely, director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program and professor of art, the series expands opportunities for intellectual and artistic explorations outside campus. “The Interdisciplinary Studies program at SMC highlights shared inquiries that bind us together across our individual subject areas,” he explains. “While the events are intended to serve the campus directly, we also want to share these opportunities with members of the Spartanburg community.”

Lanford is the author of “Mr. Scrooge!” a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” and an award-winning composer and film scorer. He holds a bachelor’s degree (with choral emphasis) from the University of South Carolina (USC), a master’s in church music from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a doctorate in musical arts from USC.