An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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. . . .
Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
ABC and DEF are equilateral triangles of side 3 and 4 respectively. Construct an equilateral triangle whose area is the sum of the area of ABC and DEF.
What is the ratio of the area of a square inscribed in a semicircle to the area of the square inscribed in the entire circle?
With one cut a piece of card 16 cm by 9 cm can be made into two pieces which can be rearranged to form a square 12 cm by 12 cm. Explain how this can be done.
It's easy to work out the areas of most squares that we meet, but what if they were tilted?
Sets of integers like 3, 4, 5 are called Pythagorean Triples, because they could be the lengths of the sides of a right-angled triangle. Can you find any more?
Triangle ABC is an equilateral triangle with three parallel lines going through the vertices. Calculate the length of the sides of the triangle if the perpendicular distances between the parallel. . . .
Can you show that you can share a square pizza equally between two people by cutting it four times using vertical, horizontal and diagonal cuts through any point inside the square?
Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?
This article for teachers describes several games, found on the site, all of which have a related structure that can be used to develop the skills of strategic planning.
Show that for any triangle it is always possible to construct 3 touching circles with centres at the vertices. Is it possible to construct touching circles centred at the vertices of any polygon?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?
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?
Jo has three numbers which she adds together in pairs. When she does this she has three different totals: 11, 17 and 22 What are the three numbers Jo had to start with?”
The diagram illustrates the formula: 1 + 3 + 5 + ... + (2n - 1) = n² Use the diagram to show that any odd number is the difference of two squares.
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.
Charlie likes tablecloths that use as many colours as possible, but insists that his tablecloths have some symmetry. Can you work out how many colours he needs for different tablecloth designs?
A red square and a blue square overlap so that the corner of the red square rests on the centre of the blue square. Show that, whatever the orientation of the red square, it covers a quarter of the. . . .
If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.
Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?
What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =
What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
Imagine a large cube made from small red cubes being dropped into a pot of yellow paint. How many of the small cubes will have yellow paint on their faces?
Polygons drawn on square dotty paper have dots on their perimeter (p) and often internal (i) ones as well. Find a relationship between p, i and the area of the polygons.
Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?
A country has decided to have just two different coins, 3z and 5z coins. Which totals can be made? Is there a largest total that cannot be made? How do you know?
Imagine an infinitely large sheet of square dotty paper on which you can draw triangles of any size you wish (providing each vertex is on a dot). What areas is it/is it not possible to draw?
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?
Start with any number of counters in any number of piles. 2 players take it in turns to remove any number of counters from a single pile. The loser is the player who takes the last counter.
An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
Choose a couple of the sequences. Try to picture how to make the next, and the next, and the next... Can you describe your reasoning?
A game for 2 players
Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?
Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.
Imagine starting with one yellow cube and covering it all over with a single layer of red cubes, and then covering that cube with a layer of blue cubes. How many red and blue cubes would you need?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?
Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?
Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?
Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?
Can you describe this route to infinity? Where will the arrows take you next?