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?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?
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. . . .
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. . . .
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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...
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?
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?
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
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?
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
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.
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.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
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?
An iterative method for finding the value of the Golden Ratio with explanations of how this involves the ratios of Fibonacci numbers and continued fractions.
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.
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
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?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
What are the missing numbers in the pyramids?
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?
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.
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.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
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.
A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Find some triples of whole numbers a, b and c such that a^2 + b^2 + c^2 is a multiple of 4. Is it necessarily the case that a, b and c must all be even? If so, 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?
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. . . .
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.
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?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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. . . .
Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?
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.