# Ramsey’s party problem

I love games that require no special equipment because they can be played at a moment's notice. This is one of my favourite pen-and-paper games. It is played on the complete graph K6. In other words, a board with six dots where each dot is connected to every other dot by a line. Although the game-board can … Continue reading Ramsey’s party problem

# Fold-and-cut

Whenever I say this, the unfinished sentence in my head is 'Fold-and-cut, baby! Fold-and-cut.' I am totally weird. The fold-and-cut theorem states states that any shape with straight sides can be cut from a single sheet of paper by folding it flat, possibly with many folds, and making a single straight complete cut. I have been impatiently waiting to try this … Continue reading Fold-and-cut

# K to 2, to infinity

Okay, so 'infinity' might be a bit of a stretch but I'm talking about the latest low-threshold, high-ceiling task to become my favourite puzzle1. Louise Hodgson shared this activity at the Mathematics Association of Tasmania conference at the weekend. The learning intention, as might be voiced to students, was: "There are patterns in the hundreds chart and the patterns can help us answer questions … Continue reading K to 2, to infinity

# The Joy of SET

Just over a week ago I shared one of my favourite mathematical puzzles. Today I'm sharing my favourite mathematical game, SET. There is something in this game for young children to mathematics professors. I give SET workshops each year, for Year 8 students up. My slides are here, along with some notes I wrote several years ago. I suggest at … Continue reading The Joy of SET

# I’m not sure if it is important, but I noticed …

Another puzzle: Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number? This puzzle comes from one of my favourite resources, nrich.maths.org. That site is a treasure-trove of rich low-threshold high-ceiling tasks. I'm not going to explicitly tell you how to solve it here — you … Continue reading I’m not sure if it is important, but I noticed …

# Unravelling the ‘Lost in Recursion’ puzzle

One of my favourite puzzles of all time comes from Paul Salomon. Paul is one quarter of the Math Munch team, and also makes the most beautiful mathematical art. On Paul's site he calls it ''The Lost in Recursion' Recursion' puzzle. I've retyped his chalkboard photo below: In 2012 I mentored a mathematically-keen Year 11 student. She and … Continue reading Unravelling the ‘Lost in Recursion’ puzzle

# Connecting the dots

(This post contains mathematical spoilers. I'll warn you again just before the reveal.) Today I want to share a maths puzzle: Is it possible to arrange an entire set of dominoes in a circle so that touching dominoes have adjacent squares with identical numbers? Once you've experimented with a set of dominoes in which the highest number is … Continue reading Connecting the dots