All entries for May 2009

May 26, 2009

Maths Challenge #6 – What Day is It?

Yesterday, Dad got confused about which day of the week it was. 'Whenever we go on holiday, I forget,’ he said.
‘Friday,’ said Darren.
‘Saturday,’ his twin sister Delia contradicted.
‘What day is tomorrow, then?’ asked Mum, trying to sort out the dispute without too much stress.
‘Monday,’ said Delia.
‘Tuesday,’ said Darren.
‘Oh, for Heaven’s sake! What day was it yesterday, then?’
‘Wednesday,’ said Darren.
‘Thursday,’ said Delia.
'Grrrrr!’ said Mum, ‘each of you has given one correct answer and two wrong ones.’

What day is it today?

May 18, 2009

Maths Challenge #5 – Après–le–Ski

The little-known Alpine village of Après-le-Ski is situated in a deep mountain valley with vertical cliffs on both sides. The cliffs are 600 metres high on one side and 400 metres high on the other. A cable runs from the foot of each cliff to the top of the other cliff, and the cables are perfectly straight.

At what height above the ground do the two cables cross?

(Picture not to scale)

May 11, 2009

Maths Challenge #4 – How Old Was Diophantus?

Diophantus’ childhood lasted one sixth of his life. His beard grew after one-twelfth more. He married after one-seventh more. His son was born five years later. The son lived to half his father’s age. Diophantus died four years after his son. How old was Diophantus when he died?

Who was Diophantus?

"Diophantus was probably Greek and he lived in ancient Alexandria. Some time around AD 250 he wrote a book about solving algebraic equations - with a slight twist: the solutions were required to be fractions, or better still, whole numbers. Such equations are called Diophantine equations to this day."

Find out more in Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart

May 05, 2009

Maths Challenge #3 – Scrabble Oddity

Writing about web page

Scrabble Oddity: Which positive integer is equal to its letter score in scrabble?

About Warwick Challenges

Warwick Challenges are mini academic challenges from University of Warwick professors, set via the micro-blogging service Twitter (and also via this blog).
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