Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
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?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
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. . . .
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. . . .
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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 use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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. . . .
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 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. . . .
Some treasure has been hidden in a three-dimensional grid! Can you work out a strategy to find it as efficiently as possible?
Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?
Can you find a rule which relates triangular numbers to square numbers?
We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.
Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.
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?
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.
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.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
A 10x10x10 cube is made from 27 2x2 cubes with corridors between them. Find the shortest route from one corner to the opposite corner.
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.
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. . . .
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 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.
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.
A game for 2 players
How can visual patterns be used to prove sums of series?
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?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
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 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?
Your data is a set of positive numbers. What is the maximum value that the standard deviation can take?
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. . . .
A circular plate rolls inside a rectangular tray making five circuits and rotating about its centre seven times. Find the dimensions of the tray.
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.
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?
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
How much of the field can the animals graze?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
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?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
This task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
Simple additions can lead to intriguing results...