The first ever printed maths book, as far as we know, was the “Treviso Arithmetic”, printed in Treviso, near Venice, in Italy, in 1478. A printed edition of Euclid’s “Elements” came out soon after, in 1482. Unlike Euclid, where everything is proofs, the Treviso Arithmetic was a collection of practical ideas to do or check calculations.
A student asked: is zero a number? This is my answer. Continue reading
Nearly 100 years ago, the great mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan was ill in hospital. His friend G H Hardy, professor of maths at Cambridge, went to visit him. Continue reading
No-one attempted this one, which I guess is due to it being post-exam time rather than it being specially difficult.
To help you: 1+2+3+4+….+n=½n(n+1) for all n
Find the sum to n terms of the first n numbers multiplied pairwise
For n = 3 it is 1×2 + 1×3 + 2×3, which makes 11
Your job is to find a general formula which works for any n.
To help you: 12+22+32+….+n2=1⁄6n(n+1)(2n+1). Continue reading
The painting above, done in 1895, is of Russian peasant boys doing a mental arithmetic puzzle. As you can see, one of them has the answer and is whispering it into the teacher’s ear. Continue reading
Sharif Quansah and Hayden Leroux won prizes for partial answers.
The problem: Calculate the remainder when 23 is divided by 3
when 25 is divided by 5
when 27 is divided by 7
when 35 is divided by 5
when 37 is divided by 7
when 45 is divided by 5 Continue reading