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?
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
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. . . .
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .
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. . . .
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
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!
Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.
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?
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.
The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?
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.