Resources tagged with: Creating and manipulating expressions and formulae

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Broad Topics > Algebraic expressions, equations and formulae > Creating and manipulating expressions and formulae

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Three Ways

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

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Simplifying Doughnut

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

An algebra task which depends on members of the group noticing the needs of others and responding.

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Little and Large

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A point moves around inside a rectangle. What are the least and the greatest values of the sum of the squares of the distances from the vertices?

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Leonardo's Problem

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?

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' Tis Whole

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take a few whole numbers away from a triangle number. If you know the mean of the remaining numbers can you find the triangle number and which numbers were removed?

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Complex Partial Fractions

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

To break down an algebraic fraction into partial fractions in which all the denominators are linear and all the numerators are constants you sometimes need complex numbers.

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System Speak

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Five equations... five unknowns... can you solve the system?

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Polynomial Interpolation

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you fit polynomials through these points?

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Quadratic Harmony

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations: x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.

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Pair Squares

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

The sum of any two of the numbers 2, 34 and 47 is a perfect square. Choose three square numbers and find sets of three integers with this property. Generalise to four integers.

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Unit Interval

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

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Reciprocals

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Prove that the product of the sum of n positive numbers with the sum of their reciprocals is not less than n^2.

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Always Two

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the triples of numbers a, b, c such that each one of them plus the product of the other two is always 2.

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Diverging

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that for natural numbers x and y if x/y > 1 then x/y>(x+1)/(y+1}>1. Hence prove that the product for i=1 to n of [(2i)/(2i-1)] tends to infinity as n tends to infinity.

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How Many Solutions?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

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Old Nuts

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

In turn 4 people throw away three nuts from a pile and hide a quarter of the remainder finally leaving a multiple of 4 nuts. How many nuts were at the start?

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Polynomial Relations

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.

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Interpolating Polynomials

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.

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Sums of Squares

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you prove that twice the sum of two squares always gives the sum of two squares?

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Matchless

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

There is a particular value of x, and a value of y to go with it, which make all five expressions equal in value, can you find that x, y pair ?

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Look Before You Leap

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.

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Mechanical Integration

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.

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Three Four Five

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Two semi-circles (each of radius 1/2) touch each other, and a semi-circle of radius 1 touches both of them. Find the radius of the circle which touches all three semi-circles.

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Calculus Countdown

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you hit the target functions using a set of input functions and a little calculus and algebra?

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Inside Outside

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Balance the bar with the three weight on the inside.

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Operating Machines

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What functions can you make using the function machines RECIPROCAL and PRODUCT and the operator machines DIFF and INT?

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More Polynomial Equations

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find relationships between the polynomials a, b and c which are polynomials in n giving the sums of the first n natural numbers, squares and cubes respectively.

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Fibonacci Factors

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

For which values of n is the Fibonacci number fn even? Which Fibonnaci numbers are divisible by 3?

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Balance Point

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Attach weights of 1, 2, 4, and 8 units to the four attachment points on the bar. Move the bar from side to side until you find a balance point. Is it possible to predict that position?

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Binomial

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn

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W Mates

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show there are exactly 12 magic labellings of the Magic W using the numbers 1 to 9. Prove that for every labelling with a magic total T there is a corresponding labelling with a magic total 30-T.

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And So on - and on -and On

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?

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Hike and Hitch

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Fifteen students had to travel 60 miles. They could use a car, which could only carry 5 students. As the car left with the first 5 (at 40 miles per hour), the remaining 10 commenced hiking along the. . . .

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Absurdity Again

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What is the value of the integers a and b where sqrt(8-4sqrt3) = sqrt a - sqrt b?

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Telescoping Functions

Age 16 to 18

Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.

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Circles in Circles

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

This pattern of six circles contains three unit circles. Work out the radii of the other three circles and the relationship between them.

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Sixational

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

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Plum Tree

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!

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Particularly General

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

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One and Three

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Pareq Calc

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .

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Hand Swap

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

My train left London between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. and arrived in Paris between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. At the start and end of the journey the hands on my watch were in exactly the same positions but the. . . .

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Poly Fibs

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A sequence of polynomials starts 0, 1 and each poly is given by combining the two polys in the sequence just before it. Investigate and prove results about the roots of the polys.

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Around and Back

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Lap Times

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the lap times of the two cyclists travelling at constant speeds?

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Mediant Madness

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?

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DOTS Division

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Take any pair of two digit numbers x=ab and y=cd where, without loss of generality, ab > cd . Form two 4 digit numbers r=abcd and s=cdab and calculate: {r^2 - s^2} /{x^2 - y^2}.

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Triangles Within Triangles

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find a rule which connects consecutive triangular numbers?

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Pair Products

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

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Salinon

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?