An article for teachers and pupils that encourages you to look at the mathematical properties of similar games.
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.
To avoid losing think of another very well known game where the patterns of play are similar.
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.
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?
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.
If you continue the pattern, can you predict what each of the following areas will be? Try to explain your prediction.
The opposite vertices of a square have coordinates (a,b) and (c,d). What are the coordinates of the other vertices?
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?
Your data is a set of positive numbers. What is the maximum value that the standard deviation can take?
A game for 2 players
Use the animation to help you work out how many lines are needed to draw mystic roses of different sizes.
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.
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?
A collection of games on the NIM theme
What's the largest volume of box you can make from a square of paper?
What is the volume of the solid formed by rotating this right angled triangle about the hypotenuse?
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?
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.
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?
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?
Some students have been working out the number of strands needed for different sizes of cable. Can you make sense of their solutions?
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.
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 ...?
Build gnomons that are related to the Fibonacci sequence and try to explain why this is possible.
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.
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?
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.
Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?
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 use the diagram to prove the AM-GM inequality?
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.
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. . . .
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 counter is placed in the bottom right hand corner of a grid. You toss a coin and move the star according to the following rules: ... What is the probability that you end up in the top left-hand. . . .
What is the total number of squares that can be made on a 5 by 5 geoboard?
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.
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.
Is there a relationship between the coordinates of the endpoints of a line and the number of grid squares it crosses?
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges?
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?”
Can you tangle yourself up and reach any fraction?
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?
It would be nice to have a strategy for disentangling any tangled ropes...
Can you find the values at the vertices when you know the values on the edges of these multiplication arithmagons?
Can you work out the irrational numbers that belong in the circles to make the multiplication arithmagon correct?
Can you see how to build a harmonic triangle? Can you work out the next two rows?
Charlie has moved between countries and the average income of both has increased. How can this be so?