Account of an investigation which starts from the area of an annulus and leads to the formula for the difference of two squares.

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.

An algebra task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

A task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.

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?

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?

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?

Prove that the product of the sum of n positive numbers with the sum of their reciprocals is not less than n^2.

The squares of any 8 consecutive numbers can be arranged into two sets of four numbers with the same sum. True of false?

Five equations... five unknowns... can you solve the system?

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 ?

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.

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. . . .

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

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

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

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.

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?

Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?

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

This pattern of six circles contains three unit circles. Work out the radii of the other three circles and the relationship between them.

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.

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. . . .

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.

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?

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.

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

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

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

What is the value of the integers a and b where sqrt(8-4sqrt3) = sqrt a - sqrt b?

Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?

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.

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?

To investigate the relationship between the distance the ruler drops and the time taken, we need to do some mathematical modelling...

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

In turn 4 people throw away three nuts from a pile and hide a quarter of the remainder finally leaving a multiple of 4 nuts. How many nuts were at the start?

Fancy learning a bit more about rates of reaction, but don't know where to look? Come inside and find out more...