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. . . .
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. . . .
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?
Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .
A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
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.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the completion of the square into the correct order to prove the formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.
The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
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. . . .
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
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. . . .
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.
Replace each letter with a digit to make this addition correct.
There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
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...
The diagram shows a regular pentagon with sides of unit length. Find all the angles in the diagram. Prove that the quadrilateral shown in red is a rhombus.
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
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.
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
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.
In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.
You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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 identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked with dots lie on one line?