Is there an efficient way to work out how many factors a large number has?

Mathematicians are always looking for efficient methods for solving problems. How efficient can you be?

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

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Take any four digit number. Move the first digit to the end and move the rest along. Now add your two numbers. Did you get a multiple of 11?

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

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?

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.

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

Do you know a quick way to check if a number is a multiple of two? How about three, four or six?

How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

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?

If you move the tiles around, can you make squares with different coloured edges?

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?

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

A circle of radius r touches two sides of a right angled triangle, sides x and y, and has its centre on the hypotenuse. Can you prove the formula linking x, y and r?

Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?

If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has doubled its value?

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

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

On the graph there are 28 marked points. These points all mark the vertices (corners) of eight hidden squares. Can you find the eight hidden squares?

Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

Find a cuboid (with edges of integer values) that has a surface area of exactly 100 square units. Is there more than one? Can you find them all?

What size square corners should be cut from a square piece of paper to make a box with the largest possible volume?

Investigate how you can work out what day of the week your birthday will be on next year, and the year after...

What is the largest number which, when divided into 1905, 2587, 3951, 7020 and 8725 in turn, leaves the same remainder each time?

The clues for this Sudoku are the product of the numbers in adjacent squares.

Explore the effect of combining enlargements.

Ben passed a third of his counters to Jack, Jack passed a quarter of his counters to Emma and Emma passed a fifth of her counters to Ben. After this they all had the same number of counters.

Five children went into the sweet shop after school. There were choco bars, chews, mini eggs and lollypops, all costing under 50p. Suggest a way in which Nathan could spend all his money.

Is it always possible to combine two paints made up in the ratios 1:x and 1:y and turn them into paint made up in the ratio a:b ? Can you find an efficent way of doing this?

A decorator can buy pink paint from two manufacturers. What is the least number he would need of each type in order to produce different shades of pink.

Can you guarantee that, for any three numbers you choose, the product of their differences will always be an even number?

Have a go at creating these images based on circles. What do you notice about the areas of the different sections?

If you have only 40 metres of fencing available, what is the maximum area of land you can fence off?

How many different symmetrical shapes can you make by shading triangles or squares?

Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?

Different combinations of the weights available allow you to make different totals. Which totals can you make?

What angle is needed for a ball to do a circuit of the billiard table and then pass through its original position?

Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?

There is a particular value of x, and a value of y to go with it, which make all five expressions equal in value, can you find that x, y pair ?

Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .

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

If the hypotenuse (base) length is 100cm and if an extra line splits the base into 36cm and 64cm parts, what were the side lengths for the original right-angled triangle?

How many more miles must the car travel before the numbers on the milometer and the trip meter contain the same digits in the same order?