Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Mathematical reasoning & proof

Concrete Wheel

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

The Triangle Game

Age 11 to 16
Challenge Level

Can you discover whether this is a fair game?

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.

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?

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. . . .

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. . . .

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. . . .

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

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

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?

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.

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.

Matter of Scale

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.

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. . . .

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?

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. . . .

AMGM

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

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.

Mediant Madness

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

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

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. . . .

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?

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.

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?

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?

Pythagoras Proofs

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

Tessellating Hexagons

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Which hexagons tessellate?

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?

L-triominoes

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

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. . . .

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?

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.

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.

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}.

Gift of Gems

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

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

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.

Ordered Sums

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

Let a(n) be the number of ways of expressing the integer n as an ordered sum of 1's and 2's. Let b(n) be the number of ways of expressing n as an ordered sum of integers greater than 1. (i) Calculate. . . .

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. . . .

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.

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...

Take Three from Five

Age 11 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?

Magic Squares II

Age 14 to 18

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

Proofs with Pictures

Age 14 to 18

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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.

Children at Large

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

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. . . .

Some Circuits in Graph or Network Theory

Age 14 to 18

Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.

The Great Weights Puzzle

Age 14 to 16
Challenge Level

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

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?

Sticky Numbers

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

What Numbers Can We Make?

Age 11 to 14
Challenge Level

Imagine we have four bags containing a large number of 1s, 4s, 7s and 10s. What numbers can we make?