Imagine you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights. How many of each weight would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg? What other averages could you have?
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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. . . .
An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...
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.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
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. . . .
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
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. . . .
Start with two numbers and generate a sequence where the next number is the mean of the last two numbers...
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = nĀ² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
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
Explore the effect of reflecting in two intersecting mirror lines.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?
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?
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?
Take any whole number between 1 and 999, add the squares of the digits to get a new number. Make some conjectures about what happens in general.
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?”
Explore the effect of combining enlargements.
Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .
Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?
Explore the effect of reflecting in two parallel mirror lines.
Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?
Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?
You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .