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?
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.
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, can you explain why?
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. . . .
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
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.
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.
Points A, B and C are the centres of three circles, each one of which touches the other two. Prove that the perimeter of the triangle ABC is equal to the diameter of the largest circle.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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.
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.
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle ABCD. A circle passing through points ABCD carves out four crescent-shaped regions. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to. . . .
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?
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.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
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. . . .
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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.
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?
In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...
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.
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and record your findings in truth tables.
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?
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?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
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.
Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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. . . .
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
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.
Can you find all the 4-ball shuffles?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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?
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.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?