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.
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree has. . . .
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. . . .
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
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?
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. . . .
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 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?
Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
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.
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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?
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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!
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.
An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.
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.
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
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. . . .
Prove that you cannot form a Magic W with a total of 12 or less or with a with a total of 18 or more.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
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. . . .
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?
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 see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
Use this interactivity to sort out the steps of the proof of the formula for the sum of an arithmetic series. The 'thermometer' will tell you how you are doing
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. . . .
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.
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.
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.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
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.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
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.
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).