Find the point whose sum of distances from the vertices (corners) of a given triangle is a minimum.
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. . . .
The reader is invited to investigate changes (or permutations) in the ringing of church bells, illustrated by braid diagrams showing the order in which the bells are rung.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
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!
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 game for 2 people. Take turns joining two dots, until your opponent is unable to move.
Takes you through the systematic way in which you can begin to solve a mixed up Cubic Net. How close will you come to a solution?
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. . . .
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. . . .
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 game for 2 players
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?
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.
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.
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?
Your data is a set of positive numbers. What is the maximum value that the standard deviation can take?
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
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 ?
In how many different ways can I colour the five edges of a pentagon red, blue and green so that no two adjacent edges are the same colour?
Can you find the link between these beautiful circle patterns and Farey Sequences?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
Two boats travel up and down a lake. Can you picture where they will cross if you know how fast each boat is travelling?
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?
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 treasure has been hidden in a three-dimensional grid! Can you work out a strategy to find it as efficiently as possible?
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. . . .
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.
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?
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
How much of the field can the animals graze?
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 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?
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
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 task depends on groups working collaboratively, discussing and reasoning to agree a final product.
Can you make a tetrahedron whose faces all have the same perimeter?
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?
What can you see? What do you notice? What questions can you ask?
How many winning lines can you make in a three-dimensional version of noughts and crosses?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
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?
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. . . .