Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another
boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven
days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
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.
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
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. . . .
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd
numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?
Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
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?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the
vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight
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?
Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the
information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo
If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?
A game for 2 players
A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you
devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when
you are given just one of its sides?
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.
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with
a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a
layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other.
What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles
What would be the smallest number of moves needed to move a Knight
from a chess set from one corner to the opposite corner of a 99 by
99 square board?
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.
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the
first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation.
How far does the dot travel?
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners)
of a given triangle is a minimum.
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?
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
Semi-regular tessellations combine two or more different regular polygons to fill the plane. Can you find all the semi-regular tessellations?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they
will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock
face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions
differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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?
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
This article explores ths history of theories about the shape of our planet. It is the first in a series of articles looking at the significance of geometric shapes in the history of astronomy.