Mathematical Digest
Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics in the Popular Press"Number Fun With Ben," edited by Constance Holden. Science, 4 May2001. Many people are not aware of Benjamin Franklin's mathematical creations,which include "magic" squares and circles. Franklin published three suchexamples, two squares and a circle, long in mathematical literature. ButPaul Pasles, a number theorist at Villanova University, has recentlydiscovered four more that show that Franklin had at least four differentmethods of constructing magic squares. Three of the squares were foundamong a multivolume collection of his papers, and the fourth was containedin a facsimile of one of his letters written in 1765, found in the libraryof the Royal Society in London. The article includes an illustration of amagic square with "bent columns".  Annette Emerson
