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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Generalising

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Polycircles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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?

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Multiplication Arithmagons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

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Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

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Pentagon

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Find the vertices of a pentagon given the midpoints of its sides.

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What's Possible?

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

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Loopy

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Investigate sequences given by $a_n = \frac{1+a_{n-1}}{a_{n-2}}$ for different choices of the first two terms. Make a conjecture about the behaviour of these sequences. Can you prove your conjecture?

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One, Three, Five, Seven

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

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.

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Pentanim

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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A Tilted Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

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Squaring the Circle and Circling the Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

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Equilateral Areas

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.

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Of All the Areas

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?

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Shear Magic

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

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More Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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Multiplication Square

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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Sliding Puzzle

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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 moves.

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Nim-like Games

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

A collection of games on the NIM theme

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Nim-interactive

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Winning Lines

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

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Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

A game for 2 players

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Nim

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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 loser is the player who takes the last counter.

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Games Related to Nim

Stage: 1, 2, 3 and 4

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.

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Pick's Theorem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.

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Building Gnomons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.

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Gnomon Dimensions

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

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Intersecting Circles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?

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Is There a Theorem?

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Squares in Rectangles

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Sums of Pairs

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”

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Tilted Squares

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?

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All Tangled Up

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?

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Cubes Within Cubes Revisited

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?

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Square Pizza

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?

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Arithmagons

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

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More Twisting and Turning

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

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Got It

Stage: 2 and 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Frogs

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

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Painted Cube

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?

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Pair Products

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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Picturing Square Numbers

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

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Go Forth and Generalise

Stage: 3

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

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Tourism

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

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Chess

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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?

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Konigsberg Plus

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:2 Challenge Level:2

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.

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Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

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Litov's Mean Value Theorem

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Start with two numbers. This is the start of a sequence. The next number is the average of the last two numbers. Continue the sequence. What will happen if you carry on for ever?

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Stage: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

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.

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For Richer for Poorer

Stage: 3 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3 Challenge Level:3

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

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Generating Triples

Stage: 4 Challenge Level: Challenge Level:1

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?