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 visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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 largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
What happens to the perimeter of triangle ABC as the two smaller circles change size and roll around inside the bigger circle?
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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. . . .
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Mark a point P inside a closed curve. Is it always possible to find two points that lie on the curve, such that P is the mid point of the line joining these two points?
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. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
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. . . .
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.
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?
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
Prove that the shaded area of the semicircle is equal to the area of the inner circle.
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
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. . . .
Find the positive integer solutions of the equation (1+1/a)(1+1/b)(1+1/c) = 2
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?
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and fill in the blanks in truth tables to record. . . .
Learn about the link between logical arguments and electronic circuits. Investigate the logical connectives by making and testing your own circuits and record your findings in truth tables.
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
This follows up the 'magic Squares for Special Occasions' article which tells you you to create a 4by4 magicsquare with a special date on the top line using no negative numbers and no repeats.
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...
The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.
Investigate the number of points with integer coordinates on circles with centres at the origin for which the square of the radius is a power of 5.
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.
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.
Here is a proof of Euler's formula in the plane and on a sphere together with projects to explore cases of the formula for a polygon with holes, for the torus and other solids with holes and the. . . .
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.
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.
We continue the discussion given in Euclid's Algorithm I, and here we shall discover when an equation of the form ax+by=c has no solutions, and when it has infinitely many solutions.
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Take a number, add its digits then multiply the digits together, then multiply these two results. If you get the same number it is an SP number.
Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.
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.
Solve this famous unsolved problem and win a prize. Take a positive integer N. If even, divide by 2; if odd, multiply by 3 and add 1. Iterate. Prove that the sequence always goes to 4,2,1,4,2,1...
Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.
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.
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
An account of methods for finding whether or not a number can be written as the sum of two or more squares or as the sum of two or more cubes.
Suppose A always beats B and B always beats C, then would you expect A to beat C? Not always! What seems obvious is not always true. Results always need to be proved in mathematics.