If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.

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.

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.

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

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?

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.

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?

Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.

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.

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

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.

An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.

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.

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.

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

We continue the discussion given in Euclid's Algorithm I, and here we shall discover when an equation of the form ax+by=c has no solutions, and when it has infinitely many solutions.

Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?

In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).

Make and prove a conjecture about the value of the product of the Fibonacci numbers $F_{n+1}F_{n-1}$.

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.

Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.

I am exactly n times my daughter's age. In m years I shall be ... How old am I?

Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms if the fraction goes on indefinitely?

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

By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn

Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?

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?

As a quadrilateral Q is deformed (keeping the edge lengths constnt) the diagonals and the angle X between them change. Prove that the area of Q is proportional to tanX.

When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?

Suppose A always beats B and B always beats C, then would you expect A to beat C? Not always! What seems obvious is not always true. Results always need to be proved in mathematics.

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.

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

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.

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. . . .

Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.

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.

This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

Generalise the sum of a GP by using derivatives to make the coefficients into powers of the natural numbers.

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

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?

Find a connection between the shape of a special ellipse and an infinite string of nested square roots.

How many tours visit each vertex of a cube once and only once? How many return to the starting point?

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.

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