Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?
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.
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.
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.
A Hamiltonian circuit is a continuous path in a graph that passes through each of the vertices exactly once and returns to the start. How many Hamiltonian circuits can you find in these graphs?
Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
This is the first article in a series which aim to provide some insight into the way spatial thinking develops in children, and draw on a range of reported research. The focus of this article is the. . . .
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .
How many different ways can I lay 10 paving slabs, each 2 foot by 1 foot, to make a path 2 foot wide and 10 foot long from my back door into my garden, without cutting any of the paving slabs?
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. . . .
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.
In how many different ways can I colour the five edges of a pentagon red, blue and green so that no two adjacent edges are the same colour?
Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .
Given the nets of 4 cubes with the faces coloured in 4 colours, build a tower so that on each vertical wall no colour is repeated, that is all 4 colours appear.
This article for teachers discusses examples of problems in which there is no obvious method but in which children can be encouraged to think deeply about the context and extend their ability to. . . .
Imagine you are suspending a cube from one vertex and allowing it to hang freely. What shape does the surface of the water make around the cube?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.
This is a simple version of an ancient game played all over the world. It is also called Mancala. What tactics will increase your chances of winning?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
A game for 2 players
Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
A tilted square is a square with no horizontal sides. Can you devise a general instruction for the construction of a square when you are given just one of its sides?
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?
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?
We start with one yellow cube and build around it to make a 3x3x3 cube with red cubes. Then we build around that red cube with blue cubes and so on. How many cubes of each colour have we used?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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.
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?
Mike and Monisha meet at the race track, which is 400m round. Just to make a point, Mike runs anticlockwise whilst Monisha runs clockwise. Where will they meet on their way around and will they ever. . . .
Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
Place a red counter in the top left corner of a 4x4 array, which is covered by 14 other smaller counters, leaving a gap in the bottom right hand corner (HOME). What is the smallest number of moves. . . .
Players take it in turns to choose a dot on the grid. The winner is the first to have four dots that can be joined to form a square.
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
An irregular tetrahedron has two opposite sides the same length a and the line joining their midpoints is perpendicular to these two edges and is of length b. What is the volume of the tetrahedron?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
This problem is about investigating whether it is possible to start at one vertex of a platonic solid and visit every other vertex once only returning to the vertex you started at.
There are 27 small cubes in a 3 x 3 x 3 cube, 54 faces being visible at any one time. Is it possible to reorganise these cubes so that by dipping the large cube into a pot of paint three times you. . . .
A right-angled isosceles triangle is rotated about the centre point of a square. What can you say about the area of the part of the square covered by the triangle as it rotates?