Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

Odd Differences

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

What's Possible?

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Many numbers can be expressed as the difference of two perfect squares. What do you notice about the numbers you CANNOT make?

How Much Can We Spend?

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

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?

Regular Hexagon Loops

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Make some loops out of regular hexagons. What rules can you discover?

Mind Reading

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Think of a number, add one, double it, take away 3, add the number you first thought of, add 7, divide by 3 and take away the number you first thought of. You should now be left with 2. How do I. . . .

Beach Huts

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Can you figure out how sequences of beach huts are generated?

Plus Minus

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you explain the surprising results Jo found when she calculated the difference between square numbers?

Chocolate 2010

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to eat chocolate. Multiply this number by 2...

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. . . .

Adding in Rows

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

List any 3 numbers. It is always possible to find a subset of adjacent numbers that add up to a multiple of 3. Can you explain why and prove it?

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 =

Generating Triples

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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.

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. . . .

Pinned Squares

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?

Chocolate Maths

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Pick the number of times a week that you eat chocolate. This number must be more than one but less than ten. Multiply this number by 2. Add 5 (for Sunday). Multiply by 50... Can you explain why it. . . .

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.

Multiplication Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

Sums of Pairs

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?”

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?

Mindreader

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

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.

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.

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.

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.

Attractive Tablecloths

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

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.

Seven Squares - Group-worthy Task

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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?

More Number Pyramids

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Keep it Simple

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

Three Times Seven

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

A three digit number abc is always divisible by 7 when 2a+3b+c is divisible by 7. Why?

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.

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.

Pick's Theorem

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

Enclosing Squares

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

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

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. . . .

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

Mini-max

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

Consider all two digit numbers (10, 11, . . . ,99). In writing down all these numbers, which digits occur least often, and which occur most often ? What about three digit numbers, four digit numbers. . . .

Train Spotters' Paradise

Age 11 to 16

Dave Hewitt suggests that there might be more to mathematics than looking at numerical results, finding patterns and generalising.

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.

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?

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

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?

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?

Tower of Hanoi

Age 11 to 14 Challenge Level:

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Hypotenuse Lattice Points

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The triangle OMN has vertices on the axes with whole number co-ordinates. How many points with whole number coordinates are there on the hypotenuse MN?