Magic Squares – What are they?

Magic squares are a set of numbers filled in a 3×3, 4×4,… squares and after filling it, all the vertical, Horizontal and both diagonal totals are equal.

Properties of the Magic Square:

  1. Magic squares are made in 3×3, 4×4, 5×5….etc.
  2. Generally a 3×3 magic square is filled with numbers 1 to 9 and 4×4 magic square is filled with 1 to 16,…… In general a “nxn” magic square will be filled with 1 to n2 numbers.
  3. In general in a “nxn” magic square will have “n” rows and “n” columns and n2 Small squares.
  5. A magic square done from 1 to 9, 1 to 16,… are called as Base Magic square.
  6. The total of a row/column of a Base Magic Square will be “First number plus the Last number added together, divided by two, and then multiplied by the Number of rows”. i.e. {( 1+n2 ) / 2} ……. {( 1+n2 ) divided 2}
  7. Generally natural numbers 1,2,3,… are used for forming the magic squares and we can use fractions, zero, negative numbers and squares, cubes etc etc…
  8. We can make 3×3, 4×4, 5×5… magic squares for a particular number, and for a given space interval at our choice.
  9. Also we can make magic squares for a given number, given year or given date of birth etc.

Article in The Hindu – A number play

I was featured in The Hindu today.

Learning mathematics can be made simple. It all depends how you approach the subject. Once you bring in the fun element, then learning any subject is easy. This was the point of discussion at the ‘Fun Maths and Mind Games’ programme by T. R. Jothilingam, an expert in number games. “Why should people hate Mathematics? Is it not the subject that makes your brain active?” he asked and assured how inadequacies could be addressed to get rid of the strong dislike for the subject among students.


You can take a look at the entire article here :  Link To Article

Srinivasa Ramanujan – 16×16 Biography Magic Square

This Biography Magic Square summarizes the important events that in the life of Sri Srinivasa Ramanujan.

How it was constructed:

Important dates in the life of Ramanujan were taken, two digits at a time, representing either the date or the month or the first or second part of the four-digit year. As an example, Ramanujan’s birth-day 22-12-1887 is taken in four separate entries as 22 12 18 87. These were then laid out in the top of the Magic Square, in the first column. Then, a complete Magic Square was built on top of these numbers, with the following additional feature : each  square indicated by a separate color (in this case, there are 4 such 4×4 sub-sqaures), which are magic squares themselves!

Srinivasa Ramanujan 16x16 biography Magic Square
Srinivasa Ramanujan 16×16 biography Magic Square

(Download Ramanujan_16x16_biography_Magic_Square in excel format).

This is a smaller version of the 100-by-100 and 125-by-125 biography magic squares that we have constructed.

This was earlier published in an article “A Unique Novel Homage to the Great Indian Mathematician” in the March 2013 (Volume 23, Pg 146-147) Mathematics Newsletter published by the Ramanujan Mathematics Society. (download free).

If you find this interesting, you could construct your own! If you want some help, drop a mail to me at contact[at]jollymaths[dot]com.

Article in The Hindu – In pursuit of puzzles

I was featured in The Hindu today.

Is maths fun? There may be some who reply positively but it bears a dull reputation among many others. But if the numbers are interspersed in puzzles and mind games, it is sure to kindle interest amongst children. Encouraging children to approach the subject with ease is what station master T.R. Jothilingam does. He has a passion for the mind games, puzzles, Sudoku and more. He began to deal with numbers a decade ago and set up his first magic square then. As he dealt more with them he found a great satisfaction in completing them. He has set up odd number magic squares, 4×4 magic square (total 34), special magic squares, an upside down magic square (it is a magic square when turned to 180 degrees gives the same total of 24) and a Palindrome magic square (a number when read from left to right or right to left is the same).


You can take a look at the entire article here :  Link To Article

Article in Madurai Messenger – Puzzle Master Extraordinaire

I was featured in Madurai Messenger today. 

Watching kids, and particularly teenagers, giddily glowing over learning, is always a treat. Especially when what they are learning is mathematics, a subject that sometimes bears a dull reputation amongst youth. But T.R. Jothilingam brings his passion for puzzles to the front of the class, holding the attention of his eager pupils, all the way till the bell rings. Having always had a way with numbers, it was not until seeing his fi rst magic square, about ten years ago, that Jothilingam’s interest in fun maths deeply intensifi ed. “After discovering magic squares”, he explains, “I was drawn to the satisfaction I found in completing them.”


You can take a look at the entire article here :  Link To Article

Article in The Hindu – Getting the figures right

I was featured in The Hindu today.

A large number of students of various schools of Tiruchi and neighbouring districts had a unique experience when T.R. Jothilingam, a wizard with numbers from Madurai, taught Mathematics in an innovative method during the special programme ‘Fun Math and Mind Game’ held in Tiruchi recently.


You can take a look at the entire article here :  Link To Article

Article in The Hindu – The Puzzle Buster

I was featured in The Hindu today.

T.R.Jothilingam, a station master by profession but is a real master of numbers. He lives in a world of numbers. The Station Master at Madurai Railway Junction, T.R.Jothilingam’s fascination for numbers is so much that most of the time you .nd him bent over pieces of paper, pen in hand and solving mathematical puzzles.

The Puzzle Buster


You can take a look at the entire article here :  Link To Article