Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Very Merry unBirthday to Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer's actual birthday is May 21, 1471, but, as we all recall from Lewis Carroll's Alice, we have 364 unbirthdays:

Ian Stewart's describes the history of magic squares in his January 1997 "Scientific American" article "Mathematical Recreations: Alphamagic Squares", citing  Dürer's engraving of Melencolia I

And zooming in on the upper right hand corner to show the magic square:

Since the original SciAm article is now behind a firewall, Science Frontiers ONLINE  No. 110: Mar-Apr 1997 goes into detail about logic of the "logorithm" of alphamagic squares.

A German alphamagic square from p 108 of SciAm article in homage to Albrecht Dürer:

fünfundvierzig zweiundsechzig achtundfünfzig
(45,14) (62,14) (58,14)
achtundsechzig fünfundfünfzig zweiundvierzig
(68,14) (55,14) (42,14)
zweiundfünfzig achtundvierzig fünfundsechzig
(52,14) (48,14) (65,14)

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