We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering
the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way
that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
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?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
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.
Six balls of various colours are randomly shaken into a trianglular
arrangement. What is the probability of having at least one red in
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases
overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of
his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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. . . .
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
Can you make a right-angled triangle on this peg-board by joining
up three points round the edge?
Semi-regular tessellations combine two or more different regular polygons to fill the plane. Can you find all the semi-regular tessellations?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Can you find a reliable strategy for choosing coordinates that will locate the robber in the minimum number of guesses?
A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red
counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the
other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.
A and B are two interlocking cogwheels having p teeth and q teeth respectively. One tooth on B is painted red. Find the values of p and q for which the red tooth on B contacts every gap on the. . . .
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the
patterns of play are similar.
There are thirteen axes of rotational symmetry of a unit cube. Describe them all. What is the average length of the parts of the axes of symmetry which lie inside the cube?
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
Can you find all the 4-ball shuffles?
Can you find a relationship between the number of dots on the
circle and the number of steps that will ensure that all points are
First Connect Three game for an adult and child. Use the dice numbers and either addition or subtraction to get three numbers in a straight line.
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right
hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of
A counter is placed in the bottom right hand corner of a grid. You
toss a coin and move the star according to the following rules: ...
What is the probability that you end up in the top left-hand. . . .
Slide the pieces to move Khun Phaen past all the guards into the position on the right from which he can escape to freedom.
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3
touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to
construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the
completion of the square into the correct order to prove the
formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players
take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single
pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both
outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of
Carry out some time trials and gather some data to help you decide
on the best training regime for your rowing crew.
Imagine picking up a bow and some arrows and attempting to hit the
target a few times. Can you work out the settings for the sight
that give you the best chance of gaining a high score?
Use the interactivity to listen to the bells ringing a pattern. Now
it's your turn! Play one of the bells yourself. How do you know
when it is your turn to ring?
Find the vertices of a pentagon given the midpoints of its sides.
A point P is selected anywhere inside an equilateral triangle. What
can you say about the sum of the perpendicular distances from P to
the sides of the triangle? Can you prove your conjecture?
Use the interactivity to play two of the bells in a pattern. How do
you know when it is your turn to ring, and how do you know which
bell to ring?
Here is a solitaire type environment for you to experiment with. Which targets can you reach?
7 balls are shaken in a container. You win if the two blue balls
touch. What is the probability of winning?
Mo has left, but Meg is still experimenting. Use the interactivity
to help you find out how she can alter her pouch of marbles and
still keep the two pouches balanced.
A java applet that takes you through the steps needed to solve a
Diophantine equation of the form Px+Qy=1 using Euclid's algorithm.
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is
covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom
right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
Four cards are shuffled and placed into two piles of two. Starting with the first pile of cards - turn a card over...
You win if all your cards end up in the trays before you run out of cards in. . . .
Have you seen this way of doing multiplication ?
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
Can you beat Piggy in this simple dice game? Can you figure out
Piggy's strategy, and is there a better one?