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.
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.
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.
Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.
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.
Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.
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?
A blue coin rolls round two yellow coins which touch. The coins are the same size. How many revolutions does the blue coin make when it rolls all the way round the yellow coins? Investigate for a. . . .
Semicircles are drawn on the sides of a rectangle. Prove that the sum of the areas of the four crescents is equal to the area of the rectangle.
Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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?
Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
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. . . .
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?
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.
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
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.
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...
What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?
If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.
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. . . .
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. . . .
Show that x = 1 is a solution of the equation x^(3/2) - 8x^(-3/2) = 7 and find all other solutions.
By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?
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.
Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
An equilateral triangle is sitting on top of a square. What is the radius of the circle that circumscribes this shape?
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.
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?
A circle has centre O and angle POR = angle QOR. Construct tangents at P and Q meeting at T. Draw a circle with diameter OT. Do P and Q lie inside, or on, or outside this circle?
Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.
Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.
Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?
If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?
This follows up the 'magic Squares for Special Occasions' article which tells you you to create a 4by4 magicsquare with a special date on the top line using no negative numbers and no repeats.
Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
Here is a proof of Euler's formula in the plane and on a sphere together with projects to explore cases of the formula for a polygon with holes, for the torus and other solids with holes and the. . . .