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

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.

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.

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

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. . . .

Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?

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

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.

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

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 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.

To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.

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}.

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.

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.

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

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.

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

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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!

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?

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

Prove that you cannot form a Magic W with a total of 12 or less or with a with a total of 18 or more.

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

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?

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?

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.

What fractions can you divide the diagonal of a square into by simple folding?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

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?

A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.

Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.