Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
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?
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 six numbers to go in the Daisy from which you can make all the numbers from 1 to a number bigger than 25?
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?
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?
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?
An observer is on top of a lighthouse. How far from the foot of the lighthouse is the horizon that the observer can see?
Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?
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?
Can you find rectangles where the value of the area is the same as the value of the perimeter?
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
If you are given the mean, median and mode of five positive whole numbers, can you find the numbers?
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?
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?
A hexagon, with sides alternately a and b units in length, is inscribed in a circle. How big is the radius of the circle?
Think of two whole numbers under 10, and follow the steps. I can work out both your numbers very quickly. How?
Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Each of the following shapes is made from arcs of a circle of
radius r. What is the perimeter of a shape with 3, 4, 5 and n
Here are four tiles. They can be arranged in a 2 by 2 square so that this large square has a green edge. If the tiles are moved around, we can make a 2 by 2 square with a blue edge... Now try to. . . .
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds
leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each
other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return,
400. . . .
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Why does this fold create an angle of sixty degrees?
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.
Use the differences to find the solution to this Sudoku.
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. . . .
Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...
Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the
product of their differences will always be an even number?
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. . . .
Do you notice anything about the solutions when you add and/or
subtract consecutive negative numbers?
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?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
What is the smallest number with exactly 14 divisors?
What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587,
3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?
Sissa cleverly asked the King for a reward that sounded quite modest but turned out to be rather large...
What is the greatest volume you can get for a rectangular (cuboid)
parcel if the maximum combined length and girth are 2 metres?
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?
Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter
of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to
Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
An investigation involving adding and subtracting sets of consecutive numbers. Lots to find out, lots to explore.
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
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?
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?
A napkin is folded so that a corner coincides with the midpoint of
an opposite edge . Investigate the three triangles formed .