This article for the young and old talks about the origins of our number system and the important role zero has to play in it.

Using balancing scales what is the least number of weights needed to weigh all integer masses from 1 to 1000? Placing some of the weights in the same pan as the object how many are needed?

Find all 3 digit numbers such that by adding the first digit, the square of the second and the cube of the third you get the original number, for example 1 + 3^2 + 5^3 = 135.

Have you seen this way of doing multiplication ?

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

We are used to writing numbers in base ten, using 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Eg. 75 means 7 tens and five units. This article explains how numbers can be written in any number base.

If a number N is expressed in binary by using only 'ones,' what can you say about its square (in binary)?

Explore a number pattern which has the same symmetries in different bases.

Let N be a six digit number with distinct digits. Find the number N given that the numbers N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, when written underneath each other, form a latin square (that is each row and each. . . .

Show that the infinite set of finite (or terminating) binary sequences can be written as an ordered list whereas the infinite set of all infinite binary sequences cannot.

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.

How can Agent X transmit data on a faulty line and be sure that her message will get through?

In 'Secret Transmissions', Agent X could send four-digit codes error free. Can you devise an error-correcting system for codes with more than four digits?

Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.

Explore the factors of the numbers which are written as 10101 in different number bases. Prove that the numbers 10201, 11011 and 10101 are composite in any base.

Ask a friend to choose a number between 1 and 63. By identifying which of the six cards contains the number they are thinking of it is easy to tell them what the number is.

You have worked out a secret code with a friend. Every letter in the alphabet can be represented by a binary value.

An example of a simple Public Key code, called the Knapsack Code is described in this article, alongside some information on its origins. A knowledge of modular arithmetic is useful.