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.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
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.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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. . . .
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.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
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. . . .
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.
Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?
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?
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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?
L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
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. . . .
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?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
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?
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
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.
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 composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.
If you take two tests and get a marks out of a maximum b in the first and c marks out of d in the second, does the mediant (a+c)/(b+d)lie between the results for the two tests separately.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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.
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?
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .
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.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
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.
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?