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.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an
ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of
expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i)
Calculate. . . .
A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship
between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on
AB as diameter?
The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find
the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the
first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers
the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect
square - can you explain why?
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2
digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to
10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building
blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of
the first six cube numbers?
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful
inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of
knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.
Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one.
Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is
special about your results.
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the
following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect
cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you
notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms
if the fraction goes on indefinitely?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less
than, the square of their means?
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses
but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any
point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and
offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on
experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest.
Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd
one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent
pair adds up to a square number?