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?
A ribbon runs around a box so that it makes a complete loop with two parallel pieces of ribbon on the top. How long will the ribbon be?
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
Can you work out the dimensions of the three cubes?
How much of the field can the animals graze?
Four rods are hinged at their ends to form a convex quadrilateral. Investigate the different shapes that the quadrilateral can take. Be patient this problem may be slow to load.
A bicycle passes along a path and leaves some tracks. Is it possible to say which track was made by the front wheel and which by the back wheel?
A spider is sitting in the middle of one of the smallest walls in a room and a fly is resting beside the window. What is the shortest distance the spider would have to crawl to catch the fly?
A cheap and simple toy with lots of mathematics. Can you interpret the images that are produced? Can you predict the pattern that will be produced using different wheels?
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. . . .
P is a point on the circumference of a circle radius r which rolls, without slipping, inside a circle of radius 2r. What is the locus of P?
Glarsynost lives on a planet whose shape is that of a perfect regular dodecahedron. Can you describe the shortest journey she can make to ensure that she will see every part of the planet?
Can you maximise the area available to a grazing goat?
A rectangular field has two posts with a ring on top of each post. There are two quarrelsome goats and plenty of ropes which you can tie to their collars. How can you secure them so they can't. . . .
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem, but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
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?
A half-cube is cut into two pieces by a plane through the long diagonal and at right angles to it. Can you draw a net of these pieces? Are they identical?
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?
The diagram shows a very heavy kitchen cabinet. It cannot be lifted but it can be pivoted around a corner. The task is to move it, without sliding, in a series of turns about the corners so that it. . . .
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
ABCDEFGH is a 3 by 3 by 3 cube. Point P is 1/3 along AB (that is AP : PB = 1 : 2), point Q is 1/3 along GH and point R is 1/3 along ED. What is the area of the triangle PQR?
Given a 2 by 2 by 2 skeletal cube with one route `down' the cube. How many routes are there from A to B?
The coke machine in college takes 50 pence pieces. It also takes a certain foreign coin of traditional design...
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
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?
The image in this problem is part of a piece of equipment found in the playground of a school. How would you describe it to someone over the phone?
A game for 2 players
Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?
Which of the following cubes can be made from these nets?
Can you use small coloured cubes to make a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that each face of the bigger cube contains one of each colour?
Four rods, two of length a and two of length b, are linked to form a kite. The linkage is moveable so that the angles change. What is the maximum area of the kite?
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.
A circle rolls around the outside edge of a square so that its circumference always touches the edge of the square. Can you describe the locus of the centre of the circle?
Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.
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. . . .
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. . . .
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
A and C are the opposite vertices of a square ABCD, and have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d), respectively. What are the coordinates of the vertices B and D? What is the area of the square?
Join pentagons together edge to edge. Will they form a ring?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
A circular plate rolls in contact with the sides of a rectangular tray. How much of its circumference comes into contact with the sides of the tray when it rolls around one circuit?
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
This article is based on some of the ideas that emerged during the production of a book which takes visualising as its focus. We began to identify problems which helped us to take a structured view. . . .