There are some water lilies in a lake. The area that they cover doubles in size every day. After 17 days the whole lake is covered. How long did it take them to cover half the lake?

Twice a week I go swimming and swim the same number of lengths of the pool each time. As I swim, I count the lengths I've done so far, and make it into a fraction of the whole number of lengths I. . . .

Visitors to Earth from the distant planet of Zub-Zorna were amazed when they found out that when the digits in this multiplication were reversed, the answer was the same! Find a way to explain. . . .

A combination mechanism for a safe comprises thirty-two tumblers numbered from one to thirty-two in such a way that the numbers in each wheel total 132... Could you open the safe?

Explain why the arithmetic sequence 1, 14, 27, 40, ... contains many terms of the form 222...2 where only the digit 2 appears.

At the beginning of the night three poker players; Alan, Bernie and Craig had money in the ratios 7 : 6 : 5. At the end of the night the ratio was 6 : 5 : 4. One of them won $1 200. What were the. . . .

Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E

There are two forms of counting on Vuvv - Zios count in base 3 and Zepts count in base 7. One day four of these creatures, two Zios and two Zepts, sat on the summit of a hill to count the legs of. . . .

A bag contains 12 marbles. There are more red than green but green and blue together exceed the reds. The total of yellow and green marbles is more than the total of red and blue. How many of. . . .

How many zeros are there at the end of the number which is the product of first hundred positive integers?

A brief article written for pupils about mathematical symbols.

This article looks at how models support mathematical thinking about numbers and the number system

Ann thought of 5 numbers and told Bob all the sums that could be made by adding the numbers in pairs. The list of sums is 6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 9, 10,10, 11, 12. Help Bob to find out which numbers Ann was. . . .

Calendars were one of the earliest calculating devices developed by civilizations. Find out about the Mayan calendar in this article.

Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?

Choose any 4 whole numbers and take the difference between consecutive numbers, ending with the difference between the first and the last numbers. What happens when you repeat this process over and. . . .

Given any 3 digit number you can use the given digits and name another number which is divisible by 37 (e.g. given 628 you say 628371 is divisible by 37 because you know that 6+3 = 2+7 = 8+1 = 9). . . .

Let N be a six digit number with distinct digits. Find the number N given that the numbers N, 2N, 3N, 4N, 5N, 6N, when written underneath each other, form a latin square (that is each row and each. . . .

Class 2YP from Madras College was inspired by the problem in NRICH to work out in how many ways the number 1999 could be expressed as the sum of 3 odd numbers, and this is their solution.

Sanjay Joshi, age 17, The Perse Boys School, Cambridge followed up the Madrass College class 2YP article with more thoughts on the problem of the number of ways of expressing an integer as the sum. . . .

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?

Think of two whole numbers under 10. Take one of them and add 1. Multiply by 5. Add 1 again. Double your answer. Subract 1. Add your second number. Add 2. Double again. Subtract 8. Halve this number. . . .

Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .

32 x 38 = 30 x 40 + 2 x 8; 34 x 36 = 30 x 40 + 4 x 6; 56 x 54 = 50 x 60 + 6 x 4; 73 x 77 = 70 x 80 + 3 x 7 Verify and generalise if possible.

a) A four digit number (in base 10) aabb is a perfect square. Discuss ways of systematically finding this number. (b) Prove that 11^{10}-1 is divisible by 100.

Factorial one hundred (written 100!) has 24 noughts when written in full and that 1000! has 249 noughts? Convince yourself that the above is true. Perhaps your methodology will help you find the. . . .

Consider numbers of the form un = 1! + 2! + 3! +...+n!. How many such numbers are perfect squares?

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

This article for the young and old talks about the origins of our number system and the important role zero has to play in it.

Read all about Pythagoras' mathematical discoveries in this article written for students.

When you think of spies and secret agents, you probably wouldn’t think of mathematics. Some of the most famous code breakers in history have been mathematicians.

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. . . .

Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?

Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page. Circle any number on the top row, put a line through the other numbers that are in the same row and column as your circled number. Repeat. . . .

How many different solutions can you find to this problem? Arrange 25 officers, each having one of five different ranks a, b, c, d and e, and belonging to one of five different regiments p, q, r, s. . . .

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.

Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .

Work with numbers big and small to estimate and calulate various quantities in biological contexts.