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.
Mark a point P inside a closed curve. Is it always possible to find two points that lie on the curve, such that P is the mid point of the line joining these two points?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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 find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
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?
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
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.
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?
How can visual patterns be used to prove sums of series?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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.
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
A game for 2 players
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. . . .
Use the diagram to investigate the classical Pythagorean means.
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
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 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. . . .
Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?
Imagine a stack of numbered cards with one on top. Discard the top, put the next card to the bottom and repeat continuously. Can you predict the last card?
Your data is a set of positive numbers. What is the maximum value that the standard deviation can take?
This is an interactive net of a Rubik's cube. Twists of the 3D cube become mixes of the squares on the 2D net. Have a play and see how many scrambles you can undo!
How much of the field can the animals graze?
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?
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. . . .
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?
A square of area 3 square units cannot be drawn on a 2D grid so that each of its vertices have integer coordinates, but can it be drawn on a 3D grid? Investigate squares that can be drawn.
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?
Some treasure has been hidden in a three-dimensional grid! Can you work out a strategy to find it as efficiently as possible?
A box of size a cm by b cm by c cm is to be wrapped with a square piece of wrapping paper. Without cutting the paper what is the smallest square this can be?
A game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
Discover a way to sum square numbers by building cuboids from small cubes. Can you picture how the sequence will grow?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
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?
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?
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.