This article for the young and old talks about the origins of our number system and the important role zero has to play in it.

Using balancing scales what is the least number of weights needed to weigh all integer masses from 1 to 1000? Placing some of the weights in the same pan as the object how many are needed?

Nowadays the calculator is very familiar to many of us. What did people do to save time working out more difficult problems before the calculator existed?

We are used to writing numbers in base ten, using 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. Eg. 75 means 7 tens and five units. This article explains how numbers can be written in any number base.

There are two forms of counting on Vuvv - Zios count in base 3 and Zepts count in base 7. One day four of these creatures, two Zios and two Zepts, sat on the summit of a hill to count the legs of. . . .

Three people chose this as a favourite problem. It is the sort of problem that needs thinking time - but once the connection is made it gives access to many similar ideas.

Explore the factors of the numbers which are written as 10101 in different number bases. Prove that the numbers 10201, 11011 and 10101 are composite in any base.

The number 3723(in base 10) is written as 123 in another base. What is that base?

a) A four digit number (in base 10) aabb is a perfect square. Discuss ways of systematically finding this number. (b) Prove that 11^{10}-1 is divisible by 100.

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

Each letter represents a different positive digit AHHAAH / JOKE = HA What are the values of each of the letters?

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

This article, written for teachers, looks at the different kinds of recordings encountered in Primary Mathematics lessons and the importance of not jumping to conclusions!

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

Take the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 and imagine them written down in every possible order to give 5 digit numbers. Find the sum of the resulting numbers.

Can you show that 1^99 + 2^99 + 3^99 + 4^99 + 5^99 is divisible by 5?

Choose any 3 digits and make a 6 digit number by repeating the 3 digits in the same order (e.g. 594594). Explain why whatever digits you choose the number will always be divisible by 7, 11 and 13.

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?

Can you create a Latin Square from multiples of a six digit number?

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

Given any 3 digit number you can use the given digits and name another number which is divisible by 37 (e.g. given 628 you say 628371 is divisible by 37 because you know that 6+3 = 2+7 = 8+1 = 9). . . .

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

Choose two digits and arrange them to make two double-digit numbers. Now add your double-digit numbers. Now add your single digit numbers. Divide your double-digit answer by your single-digit answer. . . .

Replace the letters with numbers to make the addition work out correctly. R E A D + T H I S = P A G E

Amazing as it may seem the three fives remaining in the following `skeleton' are sufficient to reconstruct the entire long division sum.

Find the values of the nine letters in the sum: FOOT + BALL = GAME

What is the sum of all the digits in all the integers from one to one million?

Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram

Think of any three-digit number. Repeat the digits. The 6-digit number that you end up with is divisible by 91. Is this a coincidence?

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?

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

Think of a two digit number, reverse the digits, and add the numbers together. Something special happens...

The Number Jumbler can always work out your chosen symbol. Can you work out how?

Some Games That May Be Nice or Nasty for an adult and child. Use your knowledge of place value to beat your opponent.

The letters in the following addition sum represent the digits 1 ... 9. If A=3 and D=2, what number is represented by "CAYLEY"?

Try out some calculations. Are you surprised by the results?

When asked how old she was, the teacher replied: My age in years is not prime but odd and when reversed and added to my age you have a perfect square...

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}.

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?

How many positive integers less than or equal to 4000 can be written down without using the digits 7, 8 or 9?

Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.

The number 27 is special because it is three times the sum of its digits 27 = 3 (2 + 7). Find some two digit numbers that are SEVEN times the sum of their digits (seven-up numbers)?

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.

This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.

Watch our videos of multiplication methods that you may not have met before. Can you make sense of them?

115^2 = (110 x 120) + 25, that is 13225 895^2 = (890 x 900) + 25, that is 801025 Can you explain what is happening and generalise?

When the number x 1 x x x is multiplied by 417 this gives the answer 9 x x x 0 5 7. Find the missing digits, each of which is represented by an "x" .

Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...