Have you ever noticed how mathematical ideas are often used in patterns that we see all around us? This article describes the life of Escher who was a passionate believer that maths and art can be. . . .
This article looks at the importance in mathematics of representing places and spaces mathematics. Many famous mathematicians have spent time working on problems that involve moving and mapping. . . .
This rectangle is cut into five pieces which fit exactly into a triangular outline and also into a square outline where the triangle, the rectangle and the square have equal areas.
How many differently shaped rectangles can you build using these
equilateral and isosceles triangles? Can you make a square?
Show how this pentagonal tile can be used to tile the plane and
describe the transformations which map this pentagon to its images
in the tiling.
Make an eight by eight square, the layout is the same as a
chessboard. You can print out and use the square below. What is the
area of the square? Divide the square in the way shown by the red
dashed. . . .
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of these rabbits?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this goat and giraffe?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of the chairs?
Sort the frieze patterns into seven pairs according to the way in
which the motif is repeated.
Experimenting with variables and friezes.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this junk?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Mai Ling?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the
squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the
button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle
now. . . .
A gallery of beautiful photos of cast ironwork friezes in Australia with a mathematical discussion of the classification of frieze patterns.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
How many different transformations can you find made up from
combinations of R, S and their inverses? Can you be sure that you
have found them all?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of the rocket?
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
These grids are filled according to some rules - can you complete
Investigate how the four L-shapes fit together to make an enlarged L-shape. You could explore this idea with other shapes too.
Find out how we can describe the "symmetries" of this triangle and
investigate some combinations of rotating and flipping it.
This problem is based on the idea of building patterns using
Proofs that there are only seven frieze patterns involve complicated group theory. The symmetries of a cylinder provide an easier approach.
Jenny Murray describes the mathematical processes behind making patchwork in this article for students.
A cylindrical helix is just a spiral on a cylinder, like an ordinary spring or the thread on a bolt. If I turn a left-handed helix over (top to bottom) does it become a right handed helix?
What happens to these capital letters when they are rotated through
one half turn, or flipped sideways and from top to bottom?
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid.
Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will
not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the
quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
NRICH December 2006 advent calendar - a new tangram for each day in
the run-up to Christmas.
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Granma T?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this telephone?
An introduction to groups using transformations, following on from the October 2006 Stage 3 problems.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Ming playing the board game?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of Little Fung at the table?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outlines of these people?
Can you fit the tangram pieces into the outline of this brazier for roasting chestnuts?
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?
Why not challenge a friend to play this transformation game?
Cut a square of paper into three pieces as shown. Now,can you use
the 3 pieces to make a large triangle, a parallelogram and the
This was a problem for our birthday website. Can you use four of these pieces to form a square? How about making a square with all five pieces?
Can you make the most extraordinary, the most amazing, the most
unusual patterns/designs from these triangles which are made in a
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.