Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What
movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of
procedures will help - variables not essential.
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is
covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom
right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
P is a point on the circumference of a circle radius r which rolls,
without slipping, inside a circle of radius 2r. What is the locus
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to
explain why this is possible.
Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top,
put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you
predict the last card?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point
of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the
square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
Draw a pentagon with all the diagonals. This is called a pentagram.
How many diagonals are there? How many diagonals are there in a
hexagram, heptagram, ... Does any pattern occur when looking at. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
A game for 2 players
These are pictures of the sea defences at New Brighton. Can you
work out what a basic shape might be in both images of the sea wall
and work out a way they might fit together?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the
patterns of play are similar.
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being
visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes
so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times
you. . . .
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. . . .
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small
cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller
circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Square It game for an adult and child. Can you come up with a way of always winning this game?
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
We're excited about this new program for drawing beautiful mathematical designs. Can you work out how we made our first few pictures and, even better, share your most elegant solutions with us?
How can you make an angle of 60 degrees by folding a sheet of paper
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of
Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times
would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
An irregular tetrahedron is composed of four different triangles.
Can such a tetrahedron be constructed where the side lengths are 4,
5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 units of length?
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?