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. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
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. . . .
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Two motorboats travelling up and down a lake at constant speeds leave opposite ends A and B at the same instant, passing each other, for the first time 600 metres from A, and on their return, 400. . . .
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 game for 2 players
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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?
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?
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.
A cyclist and a runner start off simultaneously around a race track each going at a constant speed. The cyclist goes all the way around and then catches up with the runner. He then instantly turns. . . .
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?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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. . . .
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.
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.
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?
Charlie and Alison have been drawing patterns on coordinate grids. Can you picture where the patterns lead?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
When dice land edge-up, we usually roll again. But what if we didn't...?
What is the shape of wrapping paper that you would need to completely wrap this model?
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?
Rectangles are considered different if they vary in size or have different locations. How many different rectangles can be drawn on a chessboard?
Can you find a way of representing these arrangements of balls?
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. . . .
Can you dissect a square into: 4, 7, 10, 13... other squares? 6, 9, 12, 15... other squares? 8, 11, 14... other squares?
Mathematics is the study of patterns. Studying pattern is an opportunity to observe, hypothesise, experiment, discover and create.
Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.
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?
The whole set of tiles is used to make a square. This has a green and blue border. There are no green or blue tiles anywhere in the square except on this border. How many tiles are there in the set?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?
Watch these videos to see how Phoebe, Alice and Luke chose to draw 7 squares. How would they draw 100?
Is it possible to remove ten unit cubes from a 3 by 3 by 3 cube so that the surface area of the remaining solid is the same as the surface area of the original?
ABCD is a regular tetrahedron and the points P, Q, R and S are the midpoints of the edges AB, BD, CD and CA. Prove that PQRS is a square.
How could Penny, Tom and Matthew work out how many chocolates there are in different sized boxes?
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Lyndon Baker describes how the Mobius strip and Euler's law can introduce pupils to the idea of topology.