Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

Egyptian Fractions

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The Egyptians expressed all fractions as the sum of different unit fractions. Here is a chance to explore how they could have written different fractions.

Keep it Simple

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can all unit fractions be written as the sum of two unit fractions?

More Twisting and Turning

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...

Lower Bound

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What would you get if you continued this sequence of fraction sums? 1/2 + 2/1 = 2/3 + 3/2 = 3/4 + 4/3 =

Harmonic Triangle

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?

Sum Equals Product

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The sum of the numbers 4 and 1 [1/3] is the same as the product of 4 and 1 [1/3]; that is to say 4 + 1 [1/3] = 4 � 1 [1/3]. What other numbers have the sum equal to the product and can this be so. . . .

Sliding Puzzle

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

The aim of the game is to slide the green square from the top right hand corner to the bottom left hand corner in the least number of moves.

Triangle Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Take a look at the multiplication square. The first eleven triangle numbers have been identified. Can you see a pattern? Does the pattern continue?

Pentanim

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players with similarities to NIM. Place one counter on each spot on the games board. Players take it is turns to remove 1 or 2 adjacent counters. The winner picks up the last counter.

Partitioning Revisited

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

We can show that (x + 1)² = x² + 2x + 1 by considering the area of an (x + 1) by (x + 1) square. Show in a similar way that (x + 2)² = x² + 4x + 4

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Arithmagons

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?

All Tangled Up

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?

Enclosing Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find sets of sloping lines that enclose a square?

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

Nim

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Got It

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

A game for two people, or play online. Given a target number, say 23, and a range of numbers to choose from, say 1-4, players take it in turns to add to the running total to hit their target.

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Make 37

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Four bags contain a large number of 1s, 3s, 5s and 7s. Pick any ten numbers from the bags above so that their total is 37.

One, Three, Five, Seven

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players. Set out 16 counters in rows of 1,3,5 and 7. Players take turns to remove any number of counters from a row. The player left with the last counter looses.

Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Try entering different sets of numbers in the number pyramids. How does the total at the top change?

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.

Go Forth and Generalise

Age 11 to 14

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.

Converging Means

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Take any two positive numbers. Calculate the arithmetic and geometric means. Repeat the calculations to generate a sequence of arithmetic means and geometric means. Make a note of what happens to the. . . .

Games Related to Nim

Age 5 to 16

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.

Where Can We Visit?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Charlie and Abi put a counter on 42. They wondered if they could visit all the other numbers on their 1-100 board, moving the counter using just these two operations: x2 and -5. What do you think?

Special Sums and Products

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Find some examples of pairs of numbers such that their sum is a factor of their product. eg. 4 + 12 = 16 and 4 × 12 = 48 and 16 is a factor of 48.

Maths Trails

Age 7 to 14

The NRICH team are always looking for new ways to engage teachers and pupils in problem solving. Here we explain the thinking behind maths trails.

Got it for Two

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Got It game for an adult and child. How can you play so that you know you will always win?

Multiplication Arithmagons

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?

Have You Got It?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you explain the strategy for winning this game with any target?

Squares in Rectangles

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A 2 by 3 rectangle contains 8 squares and a 3 by 4 rectangle contains 20 squares. What size rectangle(s) contain(s) exactly 100 squares? Can you find them all?

Gnomon Dimensions

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

These gnomons appear to have more than a passing connection with the Fibonacci sequence. This problem ask you to investigate some of these connections.

Handshakes

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you find an efficient method to work out how many handshakes there would be if hundreds of people met?

Great Granddad

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who are even older than he is... When was he born?

Window Frames

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

This task encourages you to investigate the number of edging pieces and panes in different sized windows.

Nim-7 for Two

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

Nim-7 game for an adult and child. Who will be the one to take the last counter?

More Magic Potting Sheds

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The number of plants in Mr McGregor's magic potting shed increases overnight. He'd like to put the same number of plants in each of his gardens, planting one garden each day. How can he do it?

Nim-7

Age 5 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you work out how to win this game of Nim? Does it matter if you go first or second?

Charitable Pennies

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

Investigate the different ways that fifteen schools could have given money in a charity fundraiser.

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.

Steps to the Podium

Age 7 to 14 Challenge Level:

It starts quite simple but great opportunities for number discoveries and patterns!

Picturing Triangular Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Triangular numbers can be represented by a triangular array of squares. What do you notice about the sum of identical triangle numbers?

Picturing Square Numbers

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Square numbers can be represented as the sum of consecutive odd numbers. What is the sum of 1 + 3 + ..... + 149 + 151 + 153?

Konigsberg Plus

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.

Pair Products

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Choose four consecutive whole numbers. Multiply the first and last numbers together. Multiply the middle pair together. What do you notice?

Shear Magic

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

What are the areas of these triangles? What do you notice? Can you generalise to other "families" of triangles?

Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Frogs

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

How many moves does it take to swap over some red and blue frogs? Do you have a method?

Tourism

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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.