John R. Hendricks

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John Robert Hendricks (September 4, 1929 – July 7, 2007) was a mathematician specializing in magic squares and hypercubes. He has published many articles in the Journal of Recreational Mathematics as well as other Journals.

Early years[edit]

John Robert Hendricks was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, but moved with his family to Vancouver, British Columbia at an early age.

He attended the University of British Columbia and graduated with a B.A. in mathematics. He started his career as a meteorology instructor in the N.A.T.O. flight training program. Then for 33 years he was employed by the Canadian Meteorological Service until his retirement in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1984.

Volunteer work[edit]

During his working years, he spent many hours in volunteer work in service groups. These included The Monarchist League of Canada and the Manitoba Provincial Council, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in Canada. He was a recipient of the Canada 125 medal for his volunteer work.


When he was 13 years old, he started collecting magic squares. As his interest in mathematics grew, so did his love of magic squares, and cubes. In the summer of 1951, he had just graduated from University, and was working in a fire-lookout tower near Campbell River, British Columbia.

He liked this job because it gave him lots of free time to indulge in his magic hypercube studies. Suddenly his tower was surrounded by the largest forest fire in Canada up to that time, and he barely managed to escape. He was relieved when he return after the fire to find that his precious notes had also survived.[citation needed]

His interest in magic squares had quickly advanced to higher dimensions: magic cubes, tesseracts, etc. He developed a new diagram for the 4-dimension tesseract. This was published in 1962 when he showed constructions of four-, five-, and six-dimensional magic hypercubes of order three [1]. He later was the first to publish diagrams of all 58 magic tesseracts of order 3.

He is also an authority on the design of inlaid magic squares and cubes (and in 1999, a magic tesseract). Following his retirement, he gave many public lectures on magic squares and cubes in schools and in-service teacher’s conventions in Canada and the northern United States. He also developed a course on magic squares and cubes which he conducted for seven years at Acadia Junior High School in Winnipeg.

His move west[edit]

In April 1996, John and his wife Celia moved to Victoria, British Columbia. By this time, he was suffering from Parkinson's disease and it had progressed to the stage that he had difficulty walking or writing because of his shaky hands. He purchased his first personal computer to help with his self-publishing work on magic hypercubes. It is astounding that up to this time, the only aid for his work on magic hypercubes was a programmable calculator. Despite his deteriorating health, John continued to make advances in magic hypercube knowledge. Some of his accomplishments were:

  • The first perfect magic tesseract (order-16), April 1999
  • The first order-32 perfect magic tesseract
  • The first inlaid magic tesseract (order-6 with inlaid order-3) in October 1999
  • The first bimagic cube (order-25), June 2000.

After 1998, he self-published:

  • Magic Squares to Tesseract by Computer, 1998, 0-9684700-0-9
  • Inlaid Magic Squares and Cubes, 1999, 0-9684700-1-7
  • Perfect n-Dimensional Magic Hypercubes of Order 2n, 1999, 0-9684700-4-1
  • All Third-Order Magic Tesseracts, 1999, 0-9684700-2-5
  • Bi-Magic Squares of Order 9, 1999, 0-9684700-6-8
  • Curves and Approximations, 1999, 0-9684700-5-X An Inlaid Magic Tesseract, 1999, as a 17” x 22” poster OR an 8-page self-cover booklet
  • Inlaid Magic Squares and Cubes (2nd edition), 2000, 0-9684700-3-3
  • A Bimagic Cube of Order 25, 2000, 0-9684700-7-6
  • Magic Square Lexicon: Illustrated (co-author Harvey Heinz), HDH, 2000, 0-9687985-0-0

Unfortunately, all of his books are now out-of-print. Some are available for downloading in PDF format from his website (see "Links"). All are available at the University of Calgary, Strens Recreational Mathematics Collection.

In total, Hendricks published 53 articles and papers on magic squares and cubes, 14 articles on statistics, 15 articles on meteorology, 14 miscellaneous articles and 12 books (above).

Last years[edit]

By 2004, his health had failed to the extent that he was unable to carry on. He was hospitalized several times and died in Victoria, aged 77.

A collection of his notes, a CD, and a copy of each of his books, has been accepted for inclusion in The University of Calgary, Strens Recreational Mathematics Collection.


  • The Five and Six-Dimensional Magic Hypercubes of Order 3, Canadian Mathematical Bulletin, 5:2:1962:171-190
  • Hendricks, John R., All Third-Order Magic Tesseracts, 1999, 0-9684700-2-5.
  • In Memoriam: John Robert Hendricks:September 4, 1929 - July 7, 2007, Journal of Recreational Mathematics, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2005–2006, page 80

See also[edit]

External links[edit]