Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
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?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
I added together some of my neighbours house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?
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. . . .
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.
Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
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.
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. . . .
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
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.
Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms if the fraction goes on indefinitely?
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
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?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
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 is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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!
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?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
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. . . .
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
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. . . .
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?