Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit
fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
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.
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.
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Many numbers can be expressed as the sum of two or more consecutive integers. For example, 15=7+8 and 10=1+2+3+4. Can you say which numbers can be expressed in this way?
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
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.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums?
1/2 + 2/1 =
2/3 + 3/2 =
3/4 + 4/3 =
Triangle numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the
site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to
develop the skills of strategic planning.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but
what if they were tilted?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a
factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and
16 is a factor of 48.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there
are in different sized boxes?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Use the interactivity to investigate what kinds of triangles can be
drawn on peg boards with different numbers of pegs.
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
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
Find out what a "fault-free" rectangle is and try to make some of
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
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers
and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?
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?
Watch this film carefully. Can you find a general rule for
explaining when the dot will be this same distance from the
Take any two digit number, for example 58. What do you have to do to reverse the order of the digits? Can you find a rule for reversing the order of digits for any two digit number?
What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the
first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation.
How far does the dot travel?
Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems
give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical
concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes
there would be if hundreds of people met?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z
coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that
cannot be made? How do you know?
Only one side of a two-slice toaster is working. What is the
quickest way to toast both sides of three slices of bread?
A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle
contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100
squares? Can you find them all?