Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day, particularly in Western superstition. Many people will alter (or entirely avoid!) doing particular things on these days. So this week I introduce a topic famous throughout history and philosophy for its role in providing magical protection against the evils of the world, in the hope we all finish the week unscathed!
Magic squares are one of my favourite constructions from recreational mathematics and they have been around longer than most modern civilisations. They appear everywhere from art to science, religion to occult mythology, and yet despite thousands of years of knowledge, there is still much we don't know about them. In this seminar we will do some magical mathematics, discuss the history and mythology surrounding it all and meet some problems which have remained unsolved for centuries.