A circle is inscribed in an equilateral triangle. Smaller circles touch it and the sides of the triangle, the process continuing indefinitely. What is the sum of the areas of all the circles?
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?
Can you find the link between these beautiful circle patterns and Farey Sequences?
How efficiently can you pack together disks?
A triangle PQR, right angled at P, slides on a horizontal floor with Q and R in contact with perpendicular walls. What is the locus of P?
How much of the field can the animals graze?
For any right-angled triangle find the radii of the three escribed circles touching the sides of the triangle externally.
How can visual patterns be used to prove sums of series?
See if you can anticipate successive 'generations' of the two animals shown here.
Find the ratio of the outer shaded area to the inner area for a six pointed star and an eight pointed star.
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...
The net of a cube is to be cut from a sheet of card 100 cm square. What is the maximum volume cube that can be made from a single piece of card?
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?
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?
Imagine a rectangular tray lying flat on a table. Suppose that a plate lies on the tray and rolls around, in contact with the sides as it rolls. What can we say about the motion?
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
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 use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
An ancient game for two from Egypt. You'll need twelve distinctive 'stones' each to play. You could chalk out the board on the ground - do ask permission first.
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?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
What 3D shapes occur in nature. How efficiently can you pack these shapes together?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
In this problem we are faced with an apparently easy area problem, but it has gone horribly wrong! What happened?
This game for two, was played in ancient Egypt as far back as 1400 BC. The game was taken by the Moors to Spain, where it is mentioned in 13th century manuscripts, and the Spanish name Alquerque. . . .
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?
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 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 game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
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?
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.
Use the diagram to investigate the classical Pythagorean means.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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 cube is made from smaller cubes, 5 by 5 by 5, then some of those cubes are removed. Can you make the specified shapes, and what is the most and least number of cubes required ?
The coke machine in college takes 50 pence pieces. It also takes a certain foreign coin of traditional design...
A game for two players based on a game from the Somali people of Africa. The first player to pick all the other's 'pumpkins' is the winner.
In this problem we see how many pieces we can cut a cube of cheese into using a limited number of slices. How many pieces will you be able to make?
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?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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.
Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?
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.