The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
This challenge asks you to imagine a snake coiling on itself.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 × 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so for. . . .
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?
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?
Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Here are two kinds of spirals for you to explore. What do you notice?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The winner is the player to take the last counter.
A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.
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.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Strike it Out game for an adult and child. Can you stop your partner from being able to go?
Can you see why 2 by 2 could be 5? Can you predict what 2 by 10 will be?
In this problem we are looking at sets of parallel sticks that cross each other. What is the least number of crossings you can make? And the greatest?
Place the numbers from 1 to 9 in the squares below so that the difference between joined squares is odd. How many different ways can you do this?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
This task follows on from Build it Up and takes the ideas into three dimensions!
Think of a number, square it and subtract your starting number. Is the number youâ€™re left with odd or even? How do the images help to explain this?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Can you find all the ways to get 15 at the top of this triangle of numbers?
Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?
One block is needed to make an up-and-down staircase, with one step up and one step down. How many blocks would be needed to build an up-and-down staircase with 5 steps up and 5 steps down?
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
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.
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.
These squares have been made from Cuisenaire rods. Can you describe the pattern? What would the next square look like?
Find a route from the outside to the inside of this square, stepping on as many tiles as possible.
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Investigate the sum of the numbers on the top and bottom faces of a line of three dice. What do you notice?
How many ways can you find to do up all four buttons on my coat? How about if I had five buttons? Six ...?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
Use your addition and subtraction skills, combined with some strategic thinking, to beat your partner at this game.
Polygonal numbers are those that are arranged in shapes as they enlarge. Explore the polygonal numbers drawn here.
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
In this game for two players, the idea is to take it in turns to choose 1, 3, 5 or 7. The winner is the first to make the total 37.
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
This challenge focuses on finding the sum and difference of pairs of two-digit numbers.
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
Find the sum and difference between a pair of two-digit numbers. Now find the sum and difference between the sum and difference! What happens?