Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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. . . .
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. . . .
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.
ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
A collection of games on the NIM theme
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
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?
We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4
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. . . .
Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
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.
Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?
The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
A game for 2 players
A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.
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 loser is the player who takes the last counter.
A game for 2 players with similaritlies to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.
The diagram shows a 5 by 5 geoboard with 25 pins set out in a square array. Squares are made by stretching rubber bands round specific pins. What is the total number of squares that can be made on a. . . .
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Draw a square. A second square of the same size slides around the first always maintaining contact and keeping the same orientation. How far does the dot travel?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Three circles have a maximum of six intersections with each other. What is the maximum number of intersections that a hundred circles could have?
The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.
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.
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.
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.
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.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Charlie has made a Magic V. Can you use his example to make some more? And how about Magic Ls, Ns and Ws?
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.
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
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?