Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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.
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.
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 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.
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?
To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.
Here the diagram says it all. Can you find the diagram?
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.
Relate these algebraic expressions to geometrical diagrams.
By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn
An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.
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.
An article about the strategy for playing The Triangle Game which appears on the NRICH site. It contains a simple lemma about labelling a grid of equilateral triangles within a triangular frame.
A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.
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.
Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how many of the other mini-challenges will you invent for yourself?
Professor Korner has generously supported school mathematics for more than 30 years and has been a good friend to NRICH since it started.
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.
Have a go at being mathematically negative, by negating these statements.
Can you invert the logic to prove these statements?
If x + y = -1 find the largest value of xy by coordinate geometry, by calculus and by algebra.
Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?
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. . . .
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
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?
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?
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
Freddie Manners, of Packwood Haugh School in Shropshire solved an alphanumeric without using the extra information supplied and this article explains his reasoning.
Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?
Can you find the value of this function involving algebraic fractions for x=2000?
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 all the solutions to the this equation.
Given that a, b and c are natural numbers show that if sqrt a+sqrt b is rational then it is a natural number. Extend this to 3 variables.
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.
By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.
Explore a number pattern which has the same symmetries in different bases.
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.
Which of these roads will satisfy a Munchkin builder?
A connected graph is a graph in which we can get from any vertex to any other by travelling along the edges. A tree is a connected graph with no closed circuits (or loops. Prove that every tree has. . . .
Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.
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.
These proofs are wrong. Can you see why?
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)
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
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?
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. . . .
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
Mark a point P inside a closed curve. Is it always possible to find two points that lie on the curve, such that P is the mid point of the line joining these two points?