Resources tagged with: Generalising

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Broad Topics > Thinking Mathematically > Generalising

Chord

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Equal touching circles have centres on a line. From a point of this line on a circle, a tangent is drawn to the farthest circle. Find the lengths of chords where the line cuts the other circles.

Semi-square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Incircles

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

The incircles of 3, 4, 5 and of 5, 12, 13 right angled triangles have radii 1 and 2 units respectively. What about triangles with an inradius of 3, 4 or 5 or ...?

Ball Bearings

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

If a is the radius of the axle, b the radius of each ball-bearing, and c the radius of the hub, why does the number of ball bearings n determine the ratio c/a? Find a formula for c/a in terms of n.

Equilateral Areas

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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.

Squaring the Circle and Circling the Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.

In a Spin

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?

Why Stop at Three by One

Age 16 to 18

Beautiful mathematics. Two 18 year old students gave eight different proofs of one result then generalised it from the 3 by 1 case to the n by 1 case and proved the general result.

Cyclic Triangles

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Make and prove a conjecture about the cyclic quadrilateral inscribed in a circle of radius r that has the maximum perimeter and the maximum area.

Polycircles

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Shape and Territory

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

If for any triangle ABC tan(A - B) + tan(B - C) + tan(C - A) = 0 what can you say about the triangle?

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?

Pareq Calc

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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. . . .

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?

AMGM

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

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.

Square Pizza

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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?

Magic Squares

Age 14 to 18

An account of some magic squares and their properties and and how to construct them for yourself.

Areas of Parallelograms

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find the area of a parallelogram defined by two vectors?

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?

Of All the Areas

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Can you find a general rule for finding the areas of equilateral triangles drawn on an isometric grid?

Partly Painted Cube

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Jo made a cube from some smaller cubes, painted some of the faces of the large cube, and then took it apart again. 45 small cubes had no paint on them at all. How many small cubes did Jo use?

A Tilted Square

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?

Absurdity Again

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

What is the value of the integers a and b where sqrt(8-4sqrt3) = sqrt a - sqrt b?

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?

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.

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?

Cuboid Challenge

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?

Searching for Mean(ing)

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

If you have a large supply of 3kg and 8kg weights, how many of each would you need for the average (mean) of the weights to be 6kg?

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?

Interpolating Polynomials

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

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.

Winning Lines

Age 7 to 16

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

Can it Be?

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

When if ever do you get the right answer if you add two fractions by adding the numerators and adding the denominators?

Jam

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

A game for 2 players

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?”

Nim-like Games

Age 7 to 16 Challenge Level:

A collection of games on the NIM theme

Irrational Arithmagons

Age 16 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you work out the irrational numbers that belong in the circles to make the multiplication arithmagon correct?

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?

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?

Plus Minus

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

All Tangled Up

Age 14 to 18 Challenge Level:

Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?

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.

More Twisting and Turning

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

Arithmagons

Age 11 to 16 Challenge Level:

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

For Richer for Poorer

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?

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.

Mystic Rose

Age 14 to 16 Challenge Level:

Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.

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.

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.

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.