Place four pebbles on the sand in the form of a square. Keep adding as few pebbles as necessary to double the area. How many extra pebbles are added each time?
Place the 16 different combinations of cup/saucer in this 4 by 4 arrangement so that no row or column contains more than one cup or saucer of the same colour.
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?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?
You are only given the three midpoints of the sides of a triangle. How can you construct the original triangle?
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem,
but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
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.
Some relationships are transitive, such as `if A>B and B>C
then it follows that A>C', but some are not. In a voting system,
if A beats B and B beats C should we expect A to beat C?
Two tangents are drawn to the other circle from the centres of a
pair of circles. What can you say about the chords cut off by these
tangents. Be patient - this problem may be slow to load.
It would be great to receive some more conjectures, and some data
which back up these conjectures.
Go to last month's problems to see more solutions.
What are rich tasks and contexts and why do they matter?
The very problem with problems, namely that they should result in
you being stuck, is at the heart of what problem-solving is about.
In this article for teachers I talk about just a few of the other
problems with problems that make them such a rich source of
This is a variation of sudoku which contains a set of special clue-numbers. Each set of 4 small digits stands for the numbers in the four cells of the grid adjacent to this set.