Imagine you had to plan the tour for the Olympic Torch. Is there an efficient way of choosing the shortest possible route?
A personal investigation of Conway's Rational Tangles. What were
the interesting questions that needed to be asked, and where did
This is the second of two articles and discusses problems relating
to the curvature of space, shortest distances on surfaces,
triangulations of surfaces and representation by graphs.
This article explains the use of the idea of connectedness in networks, in two different ways, to bring into focus the basics of the game of Go, namely capture and territory.
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start.
How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
The game of go has a simple mechanism. This discussion of the principle of two eyes in go has shown that the game does not depend on equally clear-cut concepts.
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners)
of a given triangle is a minimum.
The graph represents a salesman’s area of activity with the
shops that the salesman must visit each day. What route around the
shops has the minimum total distance?
Think about the mathematics of round robin scheduling.
Explore creating 'factors and multiples' graphs such that no lines joining the numbers cross
The Four Colour Conjecture was first stated just over 150 years ago, and finally proved conclusively in 1976. It is an outstanding example of how old ideas can be combined with new discoveries. prove. . . .
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope
trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable.
Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
This article looks at the importance in mathematics of representing places and spaces mathematics. Many famous mathematicians have spent time working on problems that involve moving and mapping. . . .
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for
practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
in how many ways can you place the numbers 1, 2, 3 … 9 in the
nine regions of the Olympic Emblem (5 overlapping circles) so that
the amount in each ring is the same?
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .
A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to
any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected
graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree. . . .
The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .
Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with
3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same
Label the joints and legs of these graph theory caterpillars so that the vertex sums are all equal.
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.