How efficiently can various flat shapes be fitted together?
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves
twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
The net of a cube is to be cut from a sheet of card 100 cm square.
What is the maximum volume cube that can be made from a single
piece of card?
Have you got the Mach knack? Discover the mathematics behind
exceeding the sound barrier.
A cube is made from smaller cubes, 5 by 5 by 5, then some of those
cubes are removed. Can you make the specified shapes, and what is
the most and least number of cubes required ?
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. . . .
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
An introduction to bond angle geometry.
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.
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.
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two
animals shown here.
The second in a series of articles on visualising and modelling shapes in the history of astronomy.
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.
A game for 2 players
Glarsynost lives on a planet whose shape is that of a perfect
regular dodecahedron. Can you describe the shortest journey she can
make to ensure that she will see every part of the planet?
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners)
of a given triangle is a minimum.
Imagine a rectangular tray lying flat on a table. Suppose that a plate lies on the tray and rolls around, in contact with the sides as it rolls. What can we say about the motion?
Two angles ABC and PQR are floating in a box so that AB//PQ and BC//QR. Prove that the two angles are equal.
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
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?
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?
Can you make sense of the charts and diagrams that are created and used by sports competitors, trainers and statisticians?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and
reasoning to agree a final product.
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they
will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Small circles nestle under touching parent circles when they sit on
the axis at neighbouring points in a Farey sequence.
A box of size a cm by b cm by c cm is to be wrapped with a square piece of wrapping paper. Without cutting the paper what is the smallest square this can be?
You have 27 small cubes, 3 each of nine colours. Use the small cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of every colour.
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?
In this problem we see how many pieces we can cut a cube of cheese
into using a limited number of slices. How many pieces will you be
able to make?
A circular plate rolls inside a rectangular tray making five
circuits and rotating about its centre seven times. Find the
dimensions of the tray.
A circular plate rolls in contact with the sides of a rectangular
tray. How much of its circumference comes into contact with the
sides of the tray when it rolls around one circuit?
A bicycle passes along a path and leaves some tracks. Is it
possible to say which track was made by the front wheel and which
by the back wheel?
If all the faces of a tetrahedron have the same perimeter then show that they are all congruent.
Takes you through the systematic way in which you can begin to
solve a mixed up Cubic Net. How close will you come to a solution?
This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .
Your data is a set of positive numbers. What is the maximum value
that the standard deviation can take?
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. . . .
Place the numbers 1, 2, 3,..., 9 one on each square of a 3 by 3 grid so that all the rows and columns add up to a prime number. How many different solutions can you find?
In a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses, how many winning lines can you make?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
On the 3D grid a strange (and deadly) animal is lurking. Using the tracking system can you locate this creature as quickly as possible?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Use a single sheet of A4 paper and make a cylinder having the greatest possible volume. The cylinder must be closed off by a circle at each end.
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to
explain why this is possible.