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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Generating 4 x 4 magic squares ( 2 ) - ( MathCad = MathCrap )

To be precise, my squares would have been magic if I would have only used the numbers 1 to 16 once each. Like in this famous magic square found in 'Melancholia' by Albrecht Dürer.
16 -  3 -  2 - 13
 5 - 10 - 11 -  8
 9 -  6 -  7 - 12
 4 - 15 - 14 -  1 

I am trying to find the parameters required by my method to generate this one. As a test.

I am not sure if this is just procrastination or that this qualifies as 'real mathematics'. I suppose it depends on the result and how I document it. Positive side-effects are that I am now much more interested in M373 and that I am still getting better in Mathematica. - Mathematica can be used as a super calculator of course, but I am beginning to use it as a tool to actually do some 'thinking-work' for me.

Am I still studying for B31? Of course!

Well, M373 entered -Yellow Alert- phase. A plus of M373 is that the topics are really, really interesting. But, I don't like MathCad. It is such a honky tonky load of crap, unbelievable. And then we get the 2001 version! I use the latest version, of course, crapwise certainly an improvement over 2001. - The Open University obviously wasn't by their right mind when they chose PTC ( the manufacturers of MathCad ). Perhaps they had no choice because PTC is the only supplier of mathematics software based on British soil. And Maple ( which seems to be almost as good as Mathematica ) courses are being dropped. Students do have limits as to what they will accept though.

Just about to ship a M381 TMA.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Sorry to hear your difficulties with Mathcad. It is a different kind of tool than Mathematica. Email me at if you'd like to discuss the differences.
    A couple of things about PTC and Mathcad -- PTC is based in Needham, MA USA and they purchased Mathcad from Mathsoft (also based in USA in 2006). Since the acquisition, PTC has invested heavily in rewriting Mathcad from the ground up, finally releasing Mathcad Prime 1.0 in January 2011. I have corresponded with other Open University students who think that Mathcad Prime addresses many of the problems that OU students have encountered over the years. You might want to check out a free trial of Mathcad Prime 1.0 ( or our upcoming virtual user event where Mathcad Prime 2.0 will be previewed (registration at

    Chris (@MathcadAcademic)


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