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Resources tagged with Creating and manipulating expressions and formulae similar to W Mates:

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

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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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Plum Tree

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Label this plum tree graph to make it totally magic!

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Magic W

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find all the ways of placing the numbers 1 to 9 on a W shape, with 3 numbers on each leg, so that each set of 3 numbers has the same total.

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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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Magic Squares for Special Occasions

Age 11 to 16

This article explains how to make your own magic square to mark a special occasion with the special date of your choice on the top line.

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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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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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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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System Speak

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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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Gutter

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Manufacturers need to minimise the amount of material used to make their product. What is the best cross-section for a gutter?

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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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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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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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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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2-digit Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A 2-Digit number is squared. When this 2-digit number is reversed and squared, the difference between the squares is also a square. What is the 2-digit number?

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Always Perfect

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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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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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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' 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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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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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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Polynomial Interpolation

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you fit polynomials through these points?

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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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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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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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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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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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Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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Triangles Within Pentagons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Show that all pentagonal numbers are one third of a triangular number.

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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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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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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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Magic Sums and Products

Age 11 to 16

How to build your own magic squares.

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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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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. . . .

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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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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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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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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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Sums of Pairs

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”

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Back to Basics

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find b where 3723(base 10) = 123(base b).