Scientist Bryan Rickett has a vision of the future - and it is one
in which self-parking cars prowl the tarmac plains, hunting down
suitable parking spots and manoeuvring elegantly into them.
Jenny Murray describes the mathematical processes behind making patchwork in this article for students.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Draw all the possible distinct triangles on a 4 x 4 dotty grid.
Convince me that you have all possible triangles.
Triangles are formed by joining the vertices of a skeletal cube. How many different types of triangle are there? How many triangles altogether?
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?
Sort the frieze patterns into seven pairs according to the way in
which the motif is repeated.
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 dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9,
12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
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?
Proofs that there are only seven frieze patterns involve complicated group theory. The symmetries of a cylinder provide an easier approach.
This problem is based on the idea of building patterns using
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. . . .
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
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.
Experimenting with variables and friezes.
See the effects of some combined transformations on a shape. Can
you describe what the individual transformations do?
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?
Does changing the order of transformations always/sometimes/never
produce the same transformation?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
In this trail, a new type of NRICH resource, learn about
transformations of graphs. Given patterns made from families of
graphs find all the equations in the family.
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
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. . . .
A gallery of beautiful photos of cast ironwork friezes in Australia with a mathematical discussion of the classification of frieze patterns.
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. . . .
How many differently shaped rectangles can you build using these
equilateral and isosceles triangles? Can you make a square?
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.
This task develops knowledge of transformation of graphs. By
framing and asking questions a member of the team has to find out
which mathematical function they have chosen.
Cut off three right angled isosceles triangles to produce a
pentagon. With two lines, cut the pentagon into three parts which
can be rearranged into another square.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
An introduction to groups using transformations, following on from the October 2006 Stage 3 problems.
Why not challenge a friend to play this transformation game?
This resources contains a series of interactivities designed to
support work on transformations at Key Stage 4.