In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
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. . . .
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?
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.
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
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.
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 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?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
Liam's house has a staircase with 12 steps. He can go down the steps one at a time or two at time. In how many different ways can Liam go down the 12 steps?
A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.
Can you find different ways of creating paths using these paving slabs?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?
This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
I added together some of my neighbours house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
Three dice are placed in a row. Find a way to turn each one so that the three numbers on top of the dice total the same as the three numbers on the front of the dice. Can you find all the ways to do. . . .
Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?
From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?
You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?
Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?
Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?
I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?
Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?