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Resources tagged with Mathematical reasoning & proof similar to Polynomial Interpolation:

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Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Telescoping Functions

Age 16 to 18

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.

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Common Divisor

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

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Encircling

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?

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Leonardo's Problem

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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?

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Lens Angle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Sixational

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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The Pillar of Chios

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Number Rules - OK

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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...

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Pair Squares

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square. Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with this property. Generalise to four integers.

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Always Perfect

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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Quadratic Harmony

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations: x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.

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Salinon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Towering Trapeziums

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?

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And So on - and on -and On

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?

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Janine's Conjecture

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Perfectly Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

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Circle Box

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?

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Unit Interval

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

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Gift of Gems

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

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Polynomial Relations

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.

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Rolling Coins

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Mod 3

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

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N000ughty Thoughts

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

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Rhombus in Rectangle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.

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Composite Notions

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

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Similarly So

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.

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Long Short

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?

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Three Ways

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

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Fitting In

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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A Biggy

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Mediant Madness

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?

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Polite Numbers

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A polite number can be written as the sum of two or more consecutive positive integers. Find the consecutive sums giving the polite numbers 544 and 424. What characterizes impolite numbers?

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Mechanical Integration

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.

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Take Three from Five

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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For What?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.

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Sums of Squares and Sums of Cubes

Age 16 to 18

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.

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Three Balls

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?

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Particularly General

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

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How Many Solutions?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

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Interpolating Polynomials

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Diophantine N-tuples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

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Diverging

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that for natural numbers x and y if x/y > 1 then x/y>(x+1)/(y+1}>1. Hence prove that the product for i=1 to n of [(2i)/(2i-1)] tends to infinity as n tends to infinity.

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Geometric Parabola

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.

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Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

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Never Prime

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

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Cyclic Quad Jigsaw

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A picture is made by joining five small quadrilaterals together to make a large quadrilateral. Is it possible to draw a similar picture if all the small quadrilaterals are cyclic?

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Cyclic Quadrilaterals

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

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Look Before You Leap

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.

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AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?