How can visual patterns be used to prove sums of series?

Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?

This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

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. . . .

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

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

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.

The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.

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

Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?

A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.

This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?

Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.

A cube is made from smaller cubes, 5 by 5 by 5, then some of those cubes are removed. Can you make the specified shapes, and what is the most and least number of cubes required ?

This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .

A bicycle passes along a path and leaves some tracks. Is it possible to say which track was made by the front wheel and which by the back wheel?

Glarsynost lives on a planet whose shape is that of a perfect regular dodecahedron. Can you describe the shortest journey she can make to ensure that she will see every part of the planet?

Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.

I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?

What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?

Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.

Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?

A square of area 3 square units cannot be drawn on a 2D grid so that each of its vertices have integer coordinates, but can it be drawn on a 3D grid? Investigate squares that can be drawn.

A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .

A and C are the opposite vertices of a square ABCD, and have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d), respectively. What are the coordinates of the vertices B and D? What is the area of the square?

This article outlines the underlying axioms of spherical geometry giving a simple proof that the sum of the angles of a triangle on the surface of a unit sphere is equal to pi plus the area of the. . . .

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?

This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!

In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem, but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?

A game for 2 players. Can be played online. One player has 1 red counter, the other has 4 blue. The red counter needs to reach the other side, and the blue needs to trap the red.

Semi-regular tessellations combine two or more different regular polygons to fill the plane. Can you find all the semi-regular tessellations?

Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.

Four rods are hinged at their ends to form a convex quadrilateral. Investigate the different shapes that the quadrilateral can take. Be patient this problem may be slow to load.

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 see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

Bilbo goes on an adventure, before arriving back home. Using the information given about his journey, can you work out where Bilbo lives?

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?

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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

This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .

What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?

Can you recreate these designs? What are the basic units? What movement is required between each unit? Some elegant use of procedures will help - variables not essential.

An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?

There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .