When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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. . . .
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. . . .
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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. . . .
Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?
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.
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?
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. . . .
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. . . .
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Here are three 'tricks' to amaze your friends. But the really clever trick is explaining to them why these 'tricks' are maths not magic. Like all good magicians, you should practice by trying. . . .
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?
Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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?
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
ABC is an equilateral triangle and P is a point in the interior of the triangle. We know that AP = 3cm and BP = 4cm. Prove that CP must be less than 10 cm.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .
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.
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?
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?
Which hexagons tessellate?
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 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. . . .
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.
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?
Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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!
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
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.
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?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.