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Old 04-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

Its Pascals triangle!
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

another special thing, a poster of it adorns the walls of just about every maths teachers classroom in the world!
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

My point was that the numbers are actually useful.
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Old 04-24-2011, 09:50 AM   #14
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

so what is the use of the magic squares?

short of just amazing school children and mystics claiming that they are godly.

i mean is there any practical purpose to them?
(or even theoretical purpose)
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

Maybe they have interesting eigenspace!

edit: The eigenvalues of that 4x4 are 34 (which is curious) , 8.9443, -8.9443, and 0.
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Old 04-25-2011, 12:57 PM   #16
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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)
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:03 PM   #17
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

I think what Root is getting at is that they're not useful in your everyday life, even if you're working with mathematics. Sure they may have applications here and there, and maybe some famous mathematicians were once interested by its symmetry, but overall the useful applications are little. The Toshiba article is one. Magic squares in art and music? Lol? Anything is useful in art and music. Citing specific examples is a good way to provide evidence, but when you're trying to argue for wide use of something, it may work against you. For example, Pascal's Triangle is useful. I cite the example of binomial expansion. One say may say that's a specific example, but then I could list tons of places where binomial expansions are used.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:12 PM   #18
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I think what Root is getting at is that they're not useful in your everyday life, even if you're working with mathematics. Sure they may have applications here and there, and maybe some famous mathematicians were once interested by its symmetry, but overall the useful applications are little. The Toshiba article is one. Magic squares in art and music? Lol? Anything is useful in art and music. Citing specific examples is a good way to provide evidence, but when you're trying to argue for wide use of something, it may work against you. For example, Pascal's Triangle is useful. I cite the example of binomial expansion. One say may say that's a specific example, but then I could list tons of places where binomial expansions are used.
Well we do have the related Sudoku puzzles you can find in many supermarkets which has recreational purposes and counts as being useful in my book.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Math question (semi-simple)

suduku?

fun little puzzles that I enjoy, but saying that you just re-enforced my belief that these are pretty much only fun as a game or curiosity, but otherwise have very little purpose!
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:53 PM   #20
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suduku?

fun little puzzles that I enjoy, but saying that you just re-enforced my belief that these are pretty much only fun as a game or curiosity, but otherwise have very little purpose!
I guess the answer depends on what you think is useful. I'm sure there will be differing opinions on this.

Quote:
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Maybe they have interesting eigenspace!

edit: The eigenvalues of that 4x4 are 34 (which is curious) , 8.9443, -8.9443, and 0.
Now how about determinants?
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