Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Convex Polygons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Show that among the interior angles of a convex polygon there cannot be more than three acute angles.

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Concrete Wheel

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

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Picture Story

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

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Tessellating Hexagons

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Which hexagons tessellate?

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Natural Sum

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Angle Trisection

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

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The Triangle Game

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

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Parallel Universe

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

An equilateral triangle is constructed on BC. A line QD is drawn, where Q is the midpoint of AC. Prove that AB // QD.

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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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Similarly So

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.

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How Many Dice?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

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Tourism

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

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Königsberg

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

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Clocked

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Is it possible to rearrange the numbers 1,2......12 around a clock face in such a way that every two numbers in adjacent positions differ by any of 3, 4 or 5 hours?

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No Right Angle Here

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.

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Cyclic Quadrilaterals

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

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Same Length

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

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Disappearing Square

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Do you know how to find the area of a triangle? You can count the squares. What happens if we turn the triangle on end? Press the button and see. Try counting the number of units in the triangle now. . . .

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Flight of the Flibbins

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Blue Flibbins are so jealous of their red partners that they will not leave them on their own with any other bue Flibbin. What is the quickest way of getting the five pairs of Flibbins safely to. . . .

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Dicing with Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

In how many ways can you arrange three dice side by side on a surface so that the sum of the numbers on each of the four faces (top, bottom, front and back) is equal?

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Proximity

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

We are given a regular icosahedron having three red vertices. Show that it has a vertex that has at least two red neighbours.

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Classifying Solids Using Angle Deficiency

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry

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Matter of Scale

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

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One O Five

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

You can work out the number someone else is thinking of as follows. Ask a friend to think of any natural number less than 100. Then ask them to tell you the remainders when this number is divided by. . . .

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Yih or Luk Tsut K'i or Three Men's Morris

Age 11 to 18 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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Tower of Hanoi

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

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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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Circle Box

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?

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Zig Zag

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked with dots lie on one line?

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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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Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?

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More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

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Sprouts Explained

Age 7 to 18

This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .

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Go Forth and Generalise

Age 11 to 14

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

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Konigsberg Plus

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

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Pythagorean Triples II

Age 11 to 16

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

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Gift of Gems

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

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Pythagorean Triples I

Age 11 to 16

The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!

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Magic Squares II

Age 14 to 18

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

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Problem Solving, Using and Applying and Functional Mathematics

Age 5 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

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Take Three from Five

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

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Proofs with Pictures

Age 14 to 18

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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Postage

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

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Fitting In

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The largest square which fits into a circle is ABCD and EFGH is a square with G and H on the line CD and E and F on the circumference of the circle. Show that AB = 5EF. Similarly the largest. . . .

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Long Short

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?

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Top-heavy Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

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Pattern of Islands

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

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Elevenses

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many pairs of numbers can you find that add up to a multiple of 11? Do you notice anything interesting about your results?

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Kite in a Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

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What Numbers Can We Make Now?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?