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. . . .
Draw a 'doodle' - a closed intersecting curve drawn without taking pencil from paper. What can you prove about the intersections?
The tangles created by the twists and turns of the Conway rope trick are surprisingly symmetrical. Here's why!
The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .
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. . . .
Keep constructing triangles in the incircle of the previous triangle. What happens?
How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?
I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
In the following sum the letters A, B, C, D, E and F stand for six distinct digits. Find all the ways of replacing the letters with digits so that the arithmetic is correct.
This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.
Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?
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?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.
Your partner chooses two beads and places them side by side behind a screen. What is the minimum number of guesses you would need to be sure of guessing the two beads and their positions?
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?
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.
What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.
Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?
This jar used to hold perfumed oil. It contained enough oil to fill granid silver bottles. Each bottle held enough to fill ozvik golden goblets and each goblet held enough to fill vaswik crystal. . . .
These formulae are often quoted, but rarely proved. In this article, we derive the formulae for the volumes of a square-based pyramid and a cone, using relatively simple mathematical concepts.
A picture is made by joining five small quadrilaterals together to make a large quadrilateral. Is it possible to draw a similar picture if all the small quadrilaterals are cyclic?
Consider the equation 1/a + 1/b + 1/c = 1 where a, b and c are natural numbers and 0 < a < b < c. Prove that there is only one set of values which satisfy this equation.
I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?
What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?
When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?
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!
This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.
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?
Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.
Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.
If you know the sizes of the angles marked with coloured dots in this diagram which angles can you find by calculation?
I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?
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. . . .
Carry out cyclic permutations of nine digit numbers containing the digits from 1 to 9 (until you get back to the first number). Prove that whatever number you choose, they will add to the same total.
Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?
In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.
From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
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. . . .
Eight children enter the autumn cross-country race at school. How many possible ways could they come in at first, second and third places?
This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.
We have exactly 100 coins. There are five different values of coins. We have decided to buy a piece of computer software for 39.75. We have the correct money, not a penny more, not a penny less! Can. . . .
Write down a three-digit number Change the order of the digits to get a different number Find the difference between the two three digit numbers Follow the rest of the instructions then try. . . .
Take any rectangle ABCD such that AB > BC. The point P is on AB and Q is on CD. Show that there is exactly one position of P and Q such that APCQ is a rhombus.