25 students are queuing in a straight line. How many are there
between Julia and Jenny?
As you come down the ladders of the Tall Tower you collect useful spells. Which way should you go to collect the most spells?
Move from the START to the FINISH by moving across or down to the
next square. Can you find a route to make these totals?
A dog is looking for a good place to bury his bone. Can you work
out where he started and ended in each case? What possible routes
could he have taken?
Arrange eight of the numbers between 1 and 9 in the Polo Square
below so that each side adds to the same total.
Make an estimate of how many light fittings you can see. Was your
estimate a good one? How can you decide?
Can you draw a continuous line through 16 numbers on this grid so
that the total of the numbers you pass through is as high as
I start my journey in Rio de Janeiro and visit all the cities as Hamilton described, passing through Canberra before Madrid, and then returning to Rio. What route could I have taken?
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start.
How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
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.
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.
How many ways are there to count 1 - 2 - 3 in the array of triangular numbers? What happens with larger arrays? Can you predict for any size array?
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a
room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest
distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
Given the graph of a supply network and the maximum capacity for
flow in each section find the maximum flow across the network.
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How
many return to the starting point?
Given probabilities of taking paths in a graph from each node, use
matrix multiplication to find the probability of going from one
vertex to another in 2 stages, or 3, or 4 or even 100.
Emma, Hannah, Shawnee and Sophie from Oakwood Junior School Maths Club show how drawing on isometric paper is a great way to show 3D shapes clearly.
Many of you demonstrated your ability to visualise faces of 3D shapes. Perhaps you can contribute more to these solutions?
A variety of responses offered useful insights to this problem.
A problem that did not need high level mathematics just clear thinking and
a little trigonometry. Well done to the large number of you who achieved a
correct solution, including Barinder, Roy, Dan and Calum - to name a few.
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which
there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged
to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to think
mathematically, especially geometrically.
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with significant food for thought.
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.