MAA Found Math: Margaret Kepner, independent artist, receivedÂ First Prize AwardÂ for her work,Â "Magic Square 25 Study" at the 2011 Joint Mathematics Meetings in New Orleans.
"Magic Square 25 Study" (2010) is an archival inkjet print. Kepner described the work in the exhibition catalog: "Magic squares are numerical arrays that have substructures with constant sums. This design is based on a magic square of order 25, containing the numbers from 0 to 624. Each row, column, and main diagonal sums to the 'magic constant' of 7800. The numbers in the magic square are represented by a visual base-5 system: four concentric squares serve as the 1, 5, 25, and 125 places, while shades of grey stand for the numerals 0 to 4. Coding the numbers into their base-5 versions yields a pattern of 625 unique, nested-squares in shades of grey. This particular magic square also has a substructure of 25 mini-squares of size 5. Each of these mini-squares is "magic" (although the numbers are not consecutive), with rows, columns, and diagonals summing to 1560. In addition, certain other groups of 5 squares add up to 1560. Examples are the quincunx and the plus-sign shapes (when fully contained in a mini-square). The colored accents are used to indicate a few of these 'magic' substructures." Read more.
The 2011 Joint Mathematics Meetings were held January 6 - 9 in New Orleans
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