Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
Draw a pentagon with all the diagonals. This is called a pentagram. How many diagonals are there? How many diagonals are there in a hexagram, heptagram, ... Does any pattern occur when looking at. . . .
Have a go at this 3D extension to the Pebbles problem.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
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?
A game for 2 players
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
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. . . .
In this problem, we have created a pattern from smaller and smaller squares. If we carried on the pattern forever, what proportion of the image would be coloured blue?
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?
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
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.
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
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.
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Take a line segment of length 1. Remove the middle third. Remove the middle thirds of what you have left. Repeat infinitely many times, and you have the Cantor Set. Can you picture it?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
You can move the 4 pieces of the jigsaw and fit them into both outlines. Explain what has happened to the missing one unit of area.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
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?
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Can you mark 4 points on a flat surface so that there are only two different distances between them?
Imagine you have six different colours of paint. You paint a cube using a different colour for each of the six faces. How many different cubes can be painted using the same set of six colours?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
In how many ways can you fit all three pieces together to make shapes with line symmetry?