Thirteen-year-old Faizan Ali Mir’s inability to solve a mathematics problem last year pushed him to invent a formula for cracking the magic squares. “After failing to answer the question related to magic squares in Class VII,I was disappointed. Some senior students helped me solve the question but later when I tried again and again,I noticed a pattern and came up with this formula,” Mir,a Class VIII student,said at the release of a booklet on the “Faizan formula” here.
The booklet was mentored by chairman of an NGO,Culture and Science Foundation Kashmir,and senior mathematics lecturer Shahbaz Hakabari. “I named the formula after the boy.I analysed the formula and found it workable,” Hakabari,Vice Principal of Government Higher Secondary School Sumbal in Bandipora District,said. “Since Mir is a minor and blooming star,I put in my efforts to publicise the innovation,” he said.
Mir,who is a student at Jawahar Navodhaya Vidhyalaya in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir,said his innovation will boost the morale of the students of mathematics. Talking about the features of the Faizan formula,Hakabari said it extends the domain of magic squares to any order,gives the key to find the numbers for placement in blank boxes of magic squares,helps in finding ways and means to approach the given target and facilitate tracing of the numbers for placement in boxes of the magic squares or even without placement,the range of numbers can be ascertained.
Referring to the hard-spots in the prevailing game,he said,”Magic squares of higher orders are time consuming,placement of numbers in higher-order is hectic and magic squares of higher order are not played as filling of boxes manually is rather impossible”. “The range of numbers for filling up of blank boxes is limited to arithmetic progressions with common difference one only – the range of numbers are consecutive natural numbers only and the magic boxes are not filled unless the range of numbers if given are some other hard spots which will be dealt with this innovation,” Hakabari said.
Mir said the formula will save time and energy used in finding the arrangement of the numbers in a number game. “It will facilitate the players to play with any range of numbers in any gap or difference of arithmetical progression and will evolve a pattern for finding the range of numbers,if the stipulated sum of rows,columns or diagonals is given besides enhance the competency of placement of numbers while operation of addition is in practice,” he said.
Hakabari said since the government has sanctioned the establishment of Institute of Mathematical Science,the formula will be submitted to the upcoming institute so that the patent process would be channelised through them. The department of mathematics in various universities of the state would be engaged in the augmentation of “Faizan formula” and will be routed through various national Universities,institutes and HRD ministry,he said adding CBSE and UGC will also be approached in this regard. Piyush Gupta,mathematics teacher of the boy in the school,expressed hope that the hidden talent in Mir will take him to new heights.