To break down an algebraic fraction into partial fractions in which all the denominators are linear and all the numerators are constants you sometimes need complex numbers.
Account of an investigation which starts from the area of an annulus and leads to the formula for the difference of two squares.
Can you fit polynomials through these points?
Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the sum of consecutive numbers.
This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.
Brian swims at twice the speed that a river is flowing, downstream from one moored boat to another and back again, taking 12 minutes altogether. How long would it have taken him in still water?
Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?
If a sum invested gains 10% each year how long before it has doubled its value?
Prove that 3 times the sum of 3 squares is the sum of 4 squares. Rather easier, can you prove that twice the sum of two squares always gives the sum of two squares?
Balance the bar with the three weight on the inside.
Find relationships between the polynomials a, b and c which are polynomials in n giving the sums of the first n natural numbers, squares and cubes respectively.
For which values of n is the Fibonacci number fn even? Which Fibonnaci numbers are divisible by 3?
Prove that the product of the sum of n positive numbers with the sum of their reciprocals is not less than n^2.
Find all the triples of numbers a, b, c such that each one of them plus the product of the other two is always 2.
A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square. What is the 2-digit number?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).
Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number and which numbers were removed?
A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45 degrees. . . .
How to build your own magic squares.
Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?
A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.
An algebra task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.
Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?
The heptathlon is an athletics competition consisting of 7 events. Can you make sense of the scoring system in order to advise a heptathlete on the best way to reach her target?
A sequence of polynomials starts 0, 1 and each poly is given by combining the two polys in the sequence just before it. Investigate and prove results about the roots of the polys.
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?
The squares of any 8 consecutive numbers can be arranged into two sets of four numbers with the same sum. True of false?
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 ?
Five equations... five unknowns... can you solve the system?
A mother wants to share a sum of money by giving each of her children in turn a lump sum plus a fraction of the remainder. How can she do this in order to share the money out equally?
Let S1 = 1 , S2 = 2 + 3, S3 = 4 + 5 + 6 ,........ Calculate S17.
Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?
Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.
Show there are exactly 12 magic labellings of the Magic W using the numbers 1 to 9. Prove that for every labelling with a magic total T there is a corresponding labelling with a magic total 30-T.
Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .
The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square. Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with this property. Generalise to four integers.
Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.
What is the value of the integers a and b where sqrt(8-4sqrt3) = sqrt a - sqrt b?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations: x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.
If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.