It was O’Week a couple of weeks ago, when new students arrive on campus to find out how uni works and the services they have access to. Our tradition for the last several years is to play Numbers and Letters on a big whiteboard out in public as a way to engage with students.

In case […]

This post is about a puzzle I’ve been tweeting about for the last couple of days. I got it originally from a book I was given back in the 1980’s called “Ivan Moscovich’s Super Games”. In the book, Ivan calls this puzzle “Bits”, but I don’t think that’s nearly descriptive or cute enough, so I […]

The “Four Fours” is a very well-known little problem that encourages some creative thinking and use of the order of operations. It goes like this:

Using exactly four of the number 4, any of the operations +, -, *, / and as many brackets as you like, see if you can produce all the natural numbers […]

Upon Amie and Cathy‘s request, I am writing a blog post about a problem we worked on at One Hundred Factorial recently. In fact, in order to do so I am creating a whole new category for the blog called One Hundred Factorial, so I can talk about the things that happen there. (Just so […]

At the end of last year, the MTBoS (Math(s) Twitter Blog-o-Sphere) introduced me to this very interesting task: you have a cross made of four equal squares, and you are supposed to colour in exactly 1/4 of the cross and justify why you know it’s a quarter. I call it “Quarter the Cross”.

(The teachers who […]

Posted in Isn't maths cool?, One Hundred Factorial, Thoughts about maths thinking
Tagged fractions, geometry, play, puzzles

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It’s no secret that the powers of two are some of my favourite numbers. There are so many interesting things to say about them that often I don’t know where to begin! (In case you’re not au fait with the terminology, the powers of two are the numbers you can make by starting with 1 […]

There is a particularly annoying puzzle that goes something like this:

“A rooster sits on the apex of a barn roof. The roof pitches at an angle of 43 degrees above the horizontal and is made of wood painted red. On the northern side of the roof, there is a large tree which casts a shadow […]

Posted in Being a good teacher, Thoughts about maths thinking
Tagged maths, problem-solving, puzzles

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At the Hmm… Sessions in November, something cool happened when a couple of the students were showing the rest of us the solution to a puzzle. (Update: Later this year, the Hmm Sessions were renamed “One Hundred Factorial” after the first puzzle we ever did.)

(For those who don’t know, The Hmm… Sessions are a regular […]

Posted in One Hundred Factorial, Thoughts about maths thinking
Tagged mathematicians, puzzles

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