A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.
Make a set of numbers that use all the digits from 1 to 9, once and once only. Add them up. The result is divisible by 9. Add each of the digits in the new number. What is their sum? Now try some. . . .
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.
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
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.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .
Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.
The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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.
This is the second of two articles and discusses problems relating to the curvature of space, shortest distances on surfaces, triangulations of surfaces and representation by graphs.
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 three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
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. . . .
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?
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?
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?
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
Nine cross country runners compete in a team competition in which there are three matches. If you were a judge how would you decide who would win?
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.
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. . . .
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
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?
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
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.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
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.
Find the area of the annulus in terms of the length of the chord which is tangent to the inner circle.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.
Who said that adding couldn't be fun?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .
Choose any three by three square of dates on a calendar page...
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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?