Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.
Investigate circuits and record your findings in this simple introduction to truth tables and logic.
Fractional calculus is a generalisation of ordinary calculus where you can differentiate n times when n is not a whole number.
The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?
An inequality involving integrals of squares of functions.
Explain why, when moving heavy objects on rollers, the object moves twice as fast as the rollers. Try a similar experiment yourself.
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.
Can you visualise whether these nets fold up into 3D shapes? Watch the videos each time to see if you were correct.
Sort these mathematical propositions into a series of 8 correct statements.
This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.
Can the pdfs and cdfs of an exponential distribution intersect?
Generalise the sum of a GP by using derivatives to make the coefficients into powers of the natural numbers.
Find all the solutions to the this equation.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?
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...
Investigate the number of points with integer coordinates on circles with centres at the origin for which the square of the radius is a power of 5.
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?
ABCD is a square. P is the midpoint of AB and is joined to C. A line from D perpendicular to PC meets the line at the point Q. Prove AQ = AD.
A composite number is one that is neither prime nor 1. Show that 10201 is composite in any base.
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.
Prove Pythagoras' Theorem using enlargements and scale factors.
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.
Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.
Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.
When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?
Can you discover whether this is a fair game?
This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.
Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry
Follow the hints and prove Pick's Theorem.
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.
Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?
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.
In this article we show that every whole number can be written as a continued fraction of the form k/(1+k/(1+k/...)).
Patterns that repeat in a line are strangely interesting. How many types are there and how do you tell one type from another?
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 article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
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.
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!
Find a connection between the shape of a special ellipse and an infinite string of nested square roots.
It is obvious that we can fit four circles of diameter 1 unit in a square of side 2 without overlapping. What is the smallest square into which we can fit 3 circles of diameter 1 unit?
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?
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.