Dutch pupils create ‘most magical’ square

Three Dutch secondary school pupils have created the ‘most magical magic square in 5,000 years’, according to maths experts from Radboud University in Nijmegen. Jess Hoekstra and Willem Schilte, both 17, and Petra Alkema, 15, created the 12×12 square during a masterclass last year.


A magic square is a mathmatical trick in which horizontal, vertical, diagonal and sometimes even circular rows of figures add up to the same number.
‘These three are super brilliant, you don’t work this out by chance, Radboud’s Arno van Essen said.
The square consists of 144 boxes containing the numbers 1 to 144. The sum of each row and each column totals 870 as do the diagonals and the parallel broken diagonals. ‘We were just playing with the square by dividing it up into little ones, it was only later we realised all its magic elements,’ said Jesse.
‘This is the most magical magic square in 5,000 years,’ said Van Essen.
Jesse and Willem have submitted the project for their final school maths project. ‘Normally you can score poor, average or good, but our teacher is going to try to get us a very good,’ the boys said.
ANP reported that the new square will be known as the HSA square after the trio’s initials.
The square will be shown on current affairs show Nova on Thursday night.

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