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Fractional Calculus I

Stage: 5

You can differentiate and integrate n times but what if n is not a whole number? This generalisation of calculus was introduced and discussed on askNRICH by some school students.

Fractional Calculus II

Stage: 5

Here explore some ideas of how the definitions and methods of calculus change if you integrate or differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.

Fractional Calculus III

Stage: 5

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

Ball Bearings

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

If a is the radius of the axle, b the radius of each ball-bearing, and c the radius of the hub, why does the number of ball bearings n determine the ratio c/a? Find a formula for c/a in terms of n.

Integral Sandwich

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Generalise this inequality involving integrals.

Sum the Series

Stage: 5

This article by Alex Goodwin, age 18 of Madras College, St Andrews describes how to find the sum of 1 + 22 + 333 + 4444 + ... to n terms.

Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

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

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.

Gnomon Dimensions

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

Magic Squares

Stage: 4 and 5

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

Equilateral Areas

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Chocolate 2010

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...

Overarch 2

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Bricks are 20cm long and 10cm high. How high could an arch be built without mortar on a flat horizontal surface, to overhang by 1 metre? How big an overhang is it possible to make like this?

Incircles

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

The incircles of 3, 4, 5 and of 5, 12, 13 right angled triangles have radii 1 and 2 units respectively. What about triangles with an inradius of 3, 4 or 5 or ...?

Pentanim

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Take Three from Five

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Cyclic Triangles

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Make and prove a conjecture about the cyclic quadrilateral inscribed in a circle of radius r that has the maximum perimeter and the maximum area.

Winning Lines

Stage: 2, 3 and 4

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

Attractive Tablecloths

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Jam

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Building Gnomons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

Areas of Parallelograms

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

Interpolating Polynomials

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.

One, Three, Five, Seven

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Square Pizza

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Generating Triples

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

Plus Minus

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

Pair Products

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Generally Geometric

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

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

Nim

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Sliding Puzzle

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

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.

Multiplication Arithmagons

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

Irrational Arithmagons

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Can you work out the irrational numbers that belong in the circles to make the multiplication arithmagon correct?

Steel Cables

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

Route to Infinity

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?

Partly Painted Cube

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

Pareq Calc

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

Nim-like Games

Stage: 2, 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

Sums of Pairs

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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?”

More Number Pyramids

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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

Nim-interactive

Stage: 3 and 4 Challenge Level:

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.

Why Stop at Three by One

Stage: 5

Beautiful mathematics. Two 18 year old students gave eight different proofs of one result then generalised it from the 3 by 1 case to the n by 1 case and proved the general result.

Janine's Conjecture

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Chord

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

Equal touching circles have centres on a line. From a point of this line on a circle, a tangent is drawn to the farthest circle. Find the lengths of chords where the line cuts the other circles.

Absurdity Again

Stage: 5 Challenge Level:

What is the value of the integers a and b where sqrt(8-4sqrt3) = sqrt a - sqrt b?

Polycircles

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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?

A Tilted Square

Stage: 4 Challenge Level:

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

Magic Squares II

Stage: 4 and 5

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.