A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.

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. . . .

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 exactly (n-1) times her age. In m2 years I shall be exactly (n-2) times her age. After that I shall never again be an exact multiple of. . . .

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2

Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.

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

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.

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 power.

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. . . .

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. . . .

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

We continue the discussion given in Euclid's Algorithm I, and here we shall discover when an equation of the form ax+by=c has no solutions, and when it has infinitely many solutions.

Peter Zimmerman from Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London gives a neat proof that: 5^(2n+1) + 11^(2n+1) + 17^(2n+1) is divisible by 33 for every non negative integer n.

Choose any two numbers. Call them a and b. Work out the arithmetic mean and the geometric mean. Which is bigger? Repeat for other pairs of numbers. What do you notice?

An account of methods for finding whether or not a number can be written as the sum of two or more squares or as the sum orf two or more cubes.

Which is the biggest and which the smallest of $2000^{2002}, 2001^{2001} \text{and } 2002^{2000}$?

Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.

Given that u>0 and v>0 find the smallest possible value of 1/u + 1/v given that u + v = 5 by different methods.

Show that the arithmetic mean, geometric mean and harmonic mean of a and b can be the lengths of the sides of a right-angles triangle if and only if a = bx^3, where x is the Golden Ratio.

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.

Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...

Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.

Here is a proof of Euler's formula in the plane and on a sphere together with projects to explore cases of the formula for a polygon with holes, for the torus and other solids with holes and the. . . .

Investigate the number of points with integer coordinates on circles with centres at the origin for which the square of the radius is a power of 5.

This follows up the 'magic Squares for Special Occasions' article which tells you you to create a 4by4 magicsquare with a special date on the top line using no negative numbers and no repeats.

ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?

Generalise the sum of a GP by using derivatives to make the coefficients into powers of the natural numbers.

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.

Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.

Prove Pythagoras Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.

We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.

Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.

Solve this famous unsolved problem and win a prize. Take a positive integer N. If even, divide by 2; if odd, multiply by 3 and add 1. Iterate. Prove that the sequence always goes to 4,2,1,4,2,1...

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. . . .

Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.

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.

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.

This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.