Resources tagged with: Mathematical reasoning & proof

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There are 172 results

Broad Topics > Using, Applying and Reasoning about Mathematics > Mathematical reasoning & proof

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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.

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More Sums of Squares

Age 16 to 18

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

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Prime AP

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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. . . .

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Why 24?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

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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

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N000ughty Thoughts

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

How many noughts are at the end of these giant numbers?

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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)

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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.

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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?

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Binomial Coefficients

Age 14 to 18

An introduction to the binomial coefficient, and exploration of some of the formulae it satisfies.

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Diophantine N-tuples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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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.

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Euler's Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Euler found four whole numbers such that the sum of any two of the numbers is a perfect square...

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How Many Solutions?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Find all the solutions to the this equation.

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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.

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Particularly General

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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.

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An Alphanumeric

Age 16 to 18

Freddie Manners, of Packwood Haugh School in Shropshire solved an alphanumeric without using the extra information supplied and this article explains his reasoning.

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Proof Sorter - Geometric Series

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you correctly order the steps in the proof of the formula for the sum of a geometric series?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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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. . . .

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Picture Story

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

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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?

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Proofs with Pictures

Age 14 to 18

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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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?

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Power Quady

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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Quadratic Harmony

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.

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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.

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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.

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Big, Bigger, Biggest

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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.

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To Prove or Not to Prove

Age 14 to 18

A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.

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Triangular Intersection

Age 14 to 16 Short Challenge Level:

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

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Thousand Words

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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Notty Logic

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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More Number Sandwiches

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

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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.

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Basic Rhythms

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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

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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.

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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.

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Integral Inequality

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.

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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.

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Generally Geometric

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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