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Who introduced Western mathematicians to Latin squares?

Richardson, John T. E. (2019). Who introduced Western mathematicians to Latin squares? British Journal for the History of Mathematics, 34(2) pp. 95–103.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/26375451.2019.1587998
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Abstract

A Latin square is a grid or array containing the same number of rows and columns. The cell entries are a sequence of symbols inserted in such a way that each symbol occurs only once in each row and only once in each column. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Latin squares have been studied in the field of combinatorics. This article is concerned with the issue of who, according to the published literature, introduced Western mathematicians to Latin squares. The first mathematician to provide a depiction of Latin squares seems to have been Jacques Ozanam (1640–1718), who demonstrated the use of Latin squares in a problem based on playing cards. However, he did not discuss the analytic properties or the potential applications of Latin squares. The first mathematician to provide an analytic description of Latin squares seems to have been Leonhard Euler (1707–1783).

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 British Journal for the History of Mathematics
ISSN: 2637-5494
Keywords: Claude Gaspar Bachet; Leonhard Euler; Latin squares; Jacques Ozanam
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 59800
Depositing User: John T. E. Richardson
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2019 17:26
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 15:51
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/59800
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