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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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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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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Interactive Number Patterns

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

How good are you at finding the formula for a number pattern ?

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Consecutive Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The squares of any 8 consecutive numbers can be arranged into two sets of four numbers with the same sum. True of false?

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Janine's Conjecture

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

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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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How Many Solutions?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

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Perfectly Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

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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?

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Archimedes and Numerical Roots

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The problem is how did Archimedes calculate the lengths of the sides of the polygons which needed him to be able to calculate square roots?

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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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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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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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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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Lower Bound

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

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The Pillar of Chios

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.

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Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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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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Enriching Experience

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the five distinct digits N, R, I, C and H in the following nomogram

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Unusual Long Division - Square Roots Before Calculators

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

However did we manage before calculators? Is there an efficient way to do a square root if you have to do the work yourself?

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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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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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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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Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

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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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AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?

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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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Polynomial Interpolation

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you fit polynomials through these points?

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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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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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Terminology

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Given an equilateral triangle inside an isosceles triangle, can you find a relationship between the angles?

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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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Training Schedule

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The heptathlon is an athletics competition consisting of 7 events. Can you make sense of the scoring system in order to advise a heptathlete on the best way to reach her target?

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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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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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Steel Cables

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?

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Robert's Spreadsheet

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Robert noticed some interesting patterns when he highlighted square numbers in a spreadsheet. Can you prove that the patterns will continue?

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Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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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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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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Algebra Match

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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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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Reasonable Algebra

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use algebra to reason why 16 and 32 are impossible to create as the sum of consecutive numbers.

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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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There and Back

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Brian swims at twice the speed that a river is flowing, downstream from one moored boat to another and back again, taking 12 minutes altogether. How long would it have taken him in still water?

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Partly Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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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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Never Prime

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

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Screen Shot

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A moveable screen slides along a mirrored corridor towards a centrally placed light source. A ray of light from that source is directed towards a wall of the corridor, which it strikes at 45 degrees. . . .