Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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. . . .
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
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?
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.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Prove that if n is a triangular number then 8n+1 is a square number. Prove, conversely, that if 8n+1 is a square number then n is a triangular number.
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?
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?
Three frogs hopped onto the table. A red frog on the left a green in the middle and a blue frog on the right. Then frogs started jumping randomly over any adjacent frog. Is it possible for them to. . . .
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. . . .
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 arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
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?
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.
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.
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?
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.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
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.
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.
Which hexagons tessellate?
It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
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.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.
Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.
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?
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. . . .
I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
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. . . .
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
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!
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?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
Can you find all the 4-ball shuffles?
This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?