The Zen of Magic Squares Circles and Stars

Author: Clifford A. Pickover
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400841516
Release Date: 2011-11-28
Genre: Mathematics

Humanity's love affair with mathematics and mysticism reached a critical juncture, legend has it, on the back of a turtle in ancient China. As Clifford Pickover briefly recounts in this enthralling book, the most comprehensive in decades on magic squares, Emperor Yu was supposedly strolling along the Yellow River one day around 2200 B.C. when he spotted the creature: its shell had a series of dots within squares. To Yu's amazement, each row of squares contained fifteen dots, as did the columns and diagonals. When he added any two cells opposite along a line through the center square, like 2 and 8, he always arrived at 10. The turtle, unwitting inspirer of the ''Yu'' square, went on to a life of courtly comfort and fame. Pickover explains why Chinese emperors, Babylonian astrologer-priests, prehistoric cave people in France, and ancient Mayans of the Yucatan were convinced that magic squares--arrays filled with numbers or letters in certain arrangements--held the secret of the universe. Since the dawn of civilization, he writes, humans have invoked such patterns to ward off evil and bring good fortune. Yet who would have guessed that in the twenty-first century, mathematicians would be studying magic squares so immense and in so many dimensions that the objects defy ordinary human contemplation and visualization? Readers are treated to a colorful history of magic squares and similar structures, their construction, and classification along with a remarkable variety of newly discovered objects ranging from ornate inlaid magic cubes to hypercubes. Illustrated examples occur throughout, with some patterns from the author's own experiments. The tesseracts, circles, spheres, and stars that he presents perfectly convey the age-old devotion of the math-minded to this Zenlike quest. Number lovers, puzzle aficionados, and math enthusiasts will treasure this rich and lively encyclopedia of one of the few areas of mathematics where the contributions of even nonspecialists count.

Before Sudoku

Author: Seymour S. Block
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: STANFORD:36105131763257
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Games

Sudoku has become a vastly popular and even addictive game. But fans may not know that Sudoku is a recent offshoot of the venerable Magic Square, which dates back over 4,000 years to ancient China, where it was literally considered magical. Indeed, Magic Squares have fascinated centuries of mystics, astrologers, and some of the world's most brilliant thinkers, including Ben Franklin. In Sudoku and Magic Squares, Seymour Block and Santiago Tavares offer a crystal clear and engagingtour tour of Magic Squares, tracing their footsteps through through ancient and medieval history and illuminating their uses in art and design, statistics and electronics. The book provides a delightful account of a mind-boggling variety of magical squares, ranging from simple 3 x 3 and squares, to magic cubes, magic circles, magic pyramids, and even "the Beastly Magical Square," whose magic sum is 666. Of course, the authors also cover Sudoku, describing how the game became a world-wide phenomenon and revealing various strategies for solving the puzzles. And along the way, the book offers readers many fascinating facts - for instance, Sudoku was invented in 1979 by an American architect living in Indianapolis and was originally called Number Place. Oddly enough, though the puzzle is known around the world by its Japanese name (which means "single numbers"), many Japanese still call it Number Place. We also learn that in a 4 x 4 magic square, there are 880 different solutions that will yield the magic sum of 34 - a surprisingly large number until you remember that there are over 2.6 trillion possible combinations. Filled with lots of original puzzles for gamers to solve, Sudoku and Magic Squares is an entertaining book that will delight anyone who loves a challenge, including all fans of Sudoku.

Geometric Magic Squares

Author: Lee C.F. Sallows
Publisher: Courier Corporation
ISBN: 9780486290027
Release Date: 2013-10-03
Genre: Mathematics

This innovative work replaces magic square numbers with two-dimensional forms. The result is a revelation that traditional magic squares are now better seen as the one-dimensional instance of this self-same geometrical activity.

Algorithmic Puzzles

Author: Anany Levitin
Publisher: OUP USA
ISBN: 9780199740444
Release Date: 2011-10-14
Genre: Computers

Algorithmic puzzles are puzzles involving well-defined procedures for solving problems. This book will provide an enjoyable and accessible introduction to algorithmic puzzles that will develop the reader's algorithmic thinking. The first part of this book is a tutorial on algorithm design strategies and analysis techniques. Algorithm design strategies — exhaustive search, backtracking, divide-and-conquer and a few others — are general approaches to designing step-by-step instructions for solving problems. Analysis techniques are methods for investigating such procedures to answer questions about the ultimate result of the procedure or how many steps are executed before the procedure stops. The discussion is an elementary level, with puzzle examples, and requires neither programming nor mathematics beyond a secondary school level. Thus, the tutorial provides a gentle and entertaining introduction to main ideas in high-level algorithmic problem solving. The second and main part of the book contains 150 puzzles, from centuries-old classics to newcomers often asked during job interviews at computing, engineering, and financial companies. The puzzles are divided into three groups by their difficulty levels. The first fifty puzzles in the Easier Puzzles section require only middle school mathematics. The sixty puzzle of average difficulty and forty harder puzzles require just high school mathematics plus a few topics such as binary numbers and simple recurrences, which are reviewed in the tutorial. All the puzzles are provided with hints, detailed solutions, and brief comments. The comments deal with the puzzle origins and design or analysis techniques used in the solution. The book should be of interest to puzzle lovers, students and teachers of algorithm courses, and persons expecting to be given puzzles during job interviews.

The Loom of God

Author: Clifford A. Pickover
Publisher: Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN: 1402764006
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Mathematics

Previous ed. published in 1997 under the title: The loom of God: mathematical tapestries at the edge of time, by Plenum Press.

Before Sudoku

Author: Seymour S. Block
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: STANFORD:36105131763257
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Games

Sudoku has become a vastly popular and even addictive game. But fans may not know that Sudoku is a recent offshoot of the venerable Magic Square, which dates back over 4,000 years to ancient China, where it was literally considered magical. Indeed, Magic Squares have fascinated centuries of mystics, astrologers, and some of the world's most brilliant thinkers, including Ben Franklin. In Sudoku and Magic Squares, Seymour Block and Santiago Tavares offer a crystal clear and engagingtour tour of Magic Squares, tracing their footsteps through through ancient and medieval history and illuminating their uses in art and design, statistics and electronics. The book provides a delightful account of a mind-boggling variety of magical squares, ranging from simple 3 x 3 and squares, to magic cubes, magic circles, magic pyramids, and even "the Beastly Magical Square," whose magic sum is 666. Of course, the authors also cover Sudoku, describing how the game became a world-wide phenomenon and revealing various strategies for solving the puzzles. And along the way, the book offers readers many fascinating facts - for instance, Sudoku was invented in 1979 by an American architect living in Indianapolis and was originally called Number Place. Oddly enough, though the puzzle is known around the world by its Japanese name (which means "single numbers"), many Japanese still call it Number Place. We also learn that in a 4 x 4 magic square, there are 880 different solutions that will yield the magic sum of 34 - a surprisingly large number until you remember that there are over 2.6 trillion possible combinations. Filled with lots of original puzzles for gamers to solve, Sudoku and Magic Squares is an entertaining book that will delight anyone who loves a challenge, including all fans of Sudoku.