Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
Water freezes at 0°Celsius (32°Fahrenheit) and boils at 100°C (212°Fahrenheit). Is there a temperature at which Celsius and Fahrenheit readings are the same?
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587,
3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
Your school has been left a million pounds in the will of an ex-
pupil. What model of investment and spending would you use in order
to ensure the best return on the money?
Chris is enjoying a swim but needs to get back for lunch. If she can swim at 3 m/s and run at 7m/sec, how far along the bank should she land in order to get back as quickly as possible?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
How many solutions can you find to this sum? Each of the different letters stands for a different number.
A game for 2 or more people, based on the traditional card game
Rummy. Players aim to make two `tricks', where each trick has to
consist of a picture of a shape, a name that describes that shape,
and. . . .
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
In 15 years' time my age will be the square of my age 15 years ago. Can you work out my age, and when I had other special birthdays?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
My two digit number is special because adding the sum of its digits to the product of its digits gives me my original number. What could my number be?
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
An aluminium can contains 330 ml of cola. If the can's diameter is 6 cm what is the can's height?
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
What does this number mean ? Which order of 1, 2, 3 and 4 makes the
highest value ? Which makes the lowest ?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
Two ladders are propped up against facing walls. The end of the
first ladder is 10 metres above the foot of the first wall. The end
of the second ladder is 5 metres above the foot of the second. . . .
Chris and Jo put two red and four blue ribbons in a box. They each pick a ribbon from the box without looking. Jo wins if the two ribbons are the same colour. Is the game fair?
Some 4 digit numbers can be written as the product of a 3 digit
number and a 2 digit number using the digits 1 to 9 each once and
only once. The number 4396 can be written as just such a product.
Can. . . .
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Can you find six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface
area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you
find them all?
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line
splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side
lengths for the original right-angled triangle?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
A 1 metre cube has one face on the ground and one face against a
wall. A 4 metre ladder leans against the wall and just touches the
cube. How high is the top of the ladder above the ground?
The area of a square inscribed in a circle with a unit radius is, satisfyingly, 2. What is the area of a regular hexagon inscribed in a circle with a unit radius?
Show that is it impossible to have a tetrahedron whose six edges
have lengths 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 units...
A square of area 40 square cms is inscribed in a semicircle. Find
the area of the square that could be inscribed in a circle of the
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .
A circle of radius r touches two sides of a right angled triangle,
sides x and y, and has its centre on the hypotenuse. Can you prove
the formula linking x, y and r?
The diagonals of a trapezium divide it into four parts. Can you
create a trapezium where three of those parts are equal in area?