Originally Posted by root
I was just wondering how I managed to get all the way through primary school, secondary school, GSCE, A-level and two years of maths at uni without coming across "Magic Squares"
then I realised, it's because they are a curiosity, I had come across the most famous one (with numbers 1 - 9 making a symmetrical shape).
but I forgot about them as they appear to have no practical use what-so-ever.
Appearances can be deceiving.
The underlying point to your post on magics squares is they're only recreational or a mere curiosity as you explicitly stated.
Let's examine this further. You may already know about Benjamin Franklin wasting his time on magic squares in his "youth." Leonhard Euler is a great mathematician who invented Latin squares that he referred to as "New Magic Squares. Then we have Pierre Fermat, a great number theoretician, who also dabbled with magic squares.
What's that I hear? This doesn't prove that magic squares are useful. Then may I refer you to Block and Tavares book titled Before Sudoku: The World of Magic Squares
, copyright 2009 that gives examples of magic squares being used in art and music. What's that you say now? You want a more practical use. Then may I refer you to Toshiba's announcement explaining the use of "magic square algorithm" technology in one of their tvs (the website is: TOSHIBA RELEASES NEWLY DEVELOPED VGA LCD CONTROLLER BASED ON MDDI TECHNOLOGY FOR 3G MOBILE HANDSETS<
)! Also there's the use of the related Latin squares in statistics.
Unless I forget, there are Karnaugh maps which shows the connection between Boolean algebra and panmagic squares!
Is this explanation enough?
(btw the most famous magic square is Durer's Melancolia