Saturday, 28 February 2009

China Week

This week at school is China week and pupils will be engaged in China-based activities across all areas of the curriculum.

In my maths lessons we will be looking at the Lo Shu:

The Chinese Emperor Yu the Great was supposedly strolling along the Yellow River (River Lo) one day around 2200 B.C. when he spotted a turtle: its shell had a series of dots within squares.

To Yu's amazement he noticed something about these dots arranged in a 3x3 grid.

He called it the Lo-Shu, which we know as the Magic Square.

The turtle went on to a life of courtly comfort and fame!

To the ancient Chinese, the Lo-Shu represented either the universe or the Emperor, in Chinese eyes these were effectively the same thing. They were also seen as lucky or magical.

Chinese mathematicians went on to construct 5x5 and 7x7 Magic Squares, but found 4x4 and 6x6 more difficult and so regarded these as ominous.

Find out more about the Lo Shu here or more about Chinese Mathematics in general at

No comments: