# Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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### There are 172 results

Broad Topics > Mathematical Thinking > Mathematical reasoning & proof

### 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.

### Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Dirisibly Yours

##### Age 16 to 18

Peter Zimmerman from Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London gives a neat proof that: 5^(2n+1) + 11^(2n+1) + 17^(2n+1) is divisible by 33 for every non negative integer n.

### More Sums of Squares

##### Age 16 to 18

Tom writes about expressing numbers as the sums of three squares.

### Sums of Squares and Sums of Cubes

##### Age 16 to 18

An account of methods for finding whether or not a number can be written as the sum of two or more squares or as the sum of two or more cubes.

### How Many Solutions?

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

### Sixational

##### Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

### 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?

### Modulus Arithmetic and a Solution to Differences

##### Age 16 to 18

Peter Zimmerman, a Year 13 student at Mill Hill County High School in Barnet, London wrote this account of modulus arithmetic.

### 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.

### 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

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.

### Big, Bigger, Biggest

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Which is the biggest and which the smallest of $2000^{2002}, 2001^{2001} \text{and } 2002^{2000}$?

### Prime AP

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime?

### 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.

### 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?

### 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.

### 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.

### 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?

### Polite Numbers

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

A polite number can be written as the sum of two or more consecutive positive integers. Find the consecutive sums giving the polite numbers 544 and 424. What characterizes impolite numbers?

##### 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.

### Modular Fractions

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

We only need 7 numbers for modulus (or clock) arithmetic mod 7 including working with fractions. Explore how to divide numbers and write fractions in modulus arithemtic.

### Integral Inequality

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.

### Common Divisor

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

### An Introduction to Number Theory

##### Age 16 to 18

An introduction to some beautiful results of Number Theory (a branch of pure mathematics devoted primarily to the study of the integers and integer-valued functions)

### Water Pistols

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

With n people anywhere in a field each shoots a water pistol at the nearest person. In general who gets wet? What difference does it make if n is odd or even?

### Particularly General

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

### Pythagorean Golden Means

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that the arithmetic mean, geometric mean and harmonic mean of a and b can be the lengths of the sides of a right-angles triangle if and only if a = bx^3, where x is the Golden Ratio.

### Without Calculus

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Given that u>0 and v>0 find the smallest possible value of 1/u + 1/v given that u + v = 5 by different methods.

### 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?

### Thousand Words

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?

### Tetra Inequalities

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Prove that in every tetrahedron there is a vertex such that the three edges meeting there have lengths which could be the sides of a triangle.

### 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.

### 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.

### Notty Logic

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.

### Basic Rhythms

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Explore a number pattern which has the same symmetries in different bases.

### Square Mean

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

### Mod 3

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Prove that if a^2+b^2 is a multiple of 3 then both a and b are multiples of 3.

### Target Six

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.

### 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?

### 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?

### 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. . . .

### Breaking the Equation ' Empirical Argument = Proof '

##### Age 7 to 18

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.

### A Biggy

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Find the smallest positive integer N such that N/2 is a perfect cube, N/3 is a perfect fifth power and N/5 is a perfect seventh power.

### 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.

### 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.

### Proof: A Brief Historical Survey

##### Age 14 to 18

If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.

### Geometric Parabola

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.

### Composite Notions

##### Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.

### Dodgy Proofs

##### Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?