Puzzles, curiosities, brain teasers and other mathematics done "just for fun".

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0
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1answer
98 views

Find the width of the river.

Q) 2 boats are crossing the river from opposite sides. When they first meet, they are 720m from the near shore. When they reach the opposite shore, they stop for 10mins and cross the river again, but ...
5
votes
2answers
126 views

A strange lier that tells truth on 7th day of the week.

Q)Ravi is strange liar. He lies on 6 days of the week, but on the seventh day he always tells the truth. He made the following statements on 3 successive days: Day1: "I lie on Mon and Tue." Day2: ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Josephus Variant

I set myself the challenge of trying to solve a variant of trying to solve a variant of the josephus problem where instead of killing every second person, every third person dies. The formula for the ...
41
votes
11answers
15k views

Can a piece of A4 paper be folded so that it's thick enough to reach the moon?

While procrastinating around the web I stumbled on a page that contained the image below, from cracked.com. I can't help but believe that this is false… Even though the article header says: ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

Which mathematical game or puzzle did you invent?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine showed me a extension of a game we are all familiar with that he was working on. The game we know is called Tic-Tac-Toe, and he was working on his own version ...
2
votes
2answers
104 views

Is there a solution to this Seating Plan problem?

So a colleague asked me for some Help on an interesting Problem, which we both couldn't find the optimal answer for. The event which needed it is already in the past, so this is just me trying to ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Calculate Income Of the Month [Puzzle]

Mr. Jill requires Rs 6000 per month to maintain his family. He saves 20% of any amount that he earns above Rs. 6000 but below Rs 7000 in a month. He saves 30% of amount that he earns above Rs 7000 but ...
7
votes
0answers
84 views

Knight's metric: ellipse and parabola.

Knight's metric is a metric on $\mathbb{Z}^2$ as the minimum number of moves a chess knight would take to travel from $x$ to $y\in\mathbb{Z}^2$. What does a parabola (or an ellipse) became with this ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a Rubik's cube be mapped knowing only two sides?

Is it possible to know the entire configuration of a Rubik's cube looking at only two sides and not rotating the cube? In other words: what is the minimum information required to create a ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

For which chess boards do solutions exist for this generalised Knight's Tour problem?

We know from a theorem by Schwenk that for any (m x n) chess board with $m \leq n$ it is always possible to create a knight's tour unless one or more of these three conditions are met: m and n are ...
3
votes
2answers
340 views

Putnam $\bf 2001$ problem A$\bf 1$ (Binary operation)

Let $*$ be a binary operation acting on a non-empty set $S$, such that $$(a*b)*a=b,$$ for all $a,b\in S$. Prove that $$a*(b*a)=b,$$ for all $a,b \in S$.
1
vote
2answers
43 views

polynomial series and root multiplicity

Excuse me, because I know this is a double post but I can't for the life of me find the original post. Given a sequence $(a_n)$, one can construct a polynomial of the form ...
0
votes
3answers
84 views

How many persons do you think are liar?

There are 10 person. First person says: At least one of the person is liar. Second person says: At least two of the person is liar. Third person says: At least three of the person is liar. Fourth ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Base 12 Versus Base 16

I'm not good when it comes to math, so forgive me. I'm doing a personal study of is there a better base number for our culture to use? I have to consider factors like: the number of digits to write, ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Is There An Alternative To Using 0 As A Placeholder?

I'm no math wiz here, but I have a question that I can't wrap my head around. In fact, I don't even know how I would even go about asking the question properly. Is there an alternative to using 0 as a ...
6
votes
2answers
92 views

Mental Arithmetic

This is very possibly not the best place to ask this, however it's the best I could find but please suggest anywhere else that might be better suited. I'm building a sort of challenge revolving ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

The Best Strategy and Highest Possible Score for the “Threes!” Game.

[There's still the strategy to go. A suitably robust argument that establishes what is statistically the best strategy will be accepted.] Here's my description of the game: There's a $4\times 4$ ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

What is the next number? [closed]

What is the next number in the following set ? $$1,11,21,1211,111221, \ldots$$
3
votes
1answer
79 views

Is there any way to analyze an absurdly large exponent?

On a recent Giant Bombcast, someone wrote in and asked an absurd question (as is usual for this podcast). In short, the question was: Given a 1080p TV, how long would it take to view every ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What are some alternatives to base number systems and their advantages?

So apparently the introduction of base number systems was great. But are there other systems which might have uses for other things? A an example consider a system where each digit has value n! and ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Integral of a function and its inverse

This comes from the comments section of this question. The original question was to show the following identity for some increasing invertible function $f$ ...
36
votes
1answer
877 views

How likely is it not to be anyone's best friend?

A teenage acquaintance of mine lamented: Every one of my friends is better friends with somebody else. Thanks to my knowledge of mathematics I could inform her that she's not alone and ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Degree sequence in $O(n)$

How can we determine the whether a sequence of non negative integers is a valid degree sequence in $O(n)$. I have determined an $O(n\log n)$ algorithm using erdos-gallai theorem.
1
vote
1answer
63 views

NCAA bracket and binomial coefficients

Given that March Madness is almost here I was trying to figure out the probability of constructing a perfect bracket if you just flipped a coin for every game. I came up with two possible solutions. ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Question on Speed and Distance

X, Y and Z move along a circular path of length 1.2 km with speeds of 6 km/h, 8 km/h and 9 km/h respectively. X and Y move in the same direction but Z moves in opposite direction. If they all start at ...
3
votes
1answer
338 views

How can I use math to fill out my NCAA tournament bracket?

With the NCAA basketball tournament right around the corner and the conference tournaments just beginning, it's the perfect time to consider strategies to fill out an NCAA tournament bracket. How can ...
0
votes
0answers
68 views

Describing the sequence A224239.

I've been trying to describe mathematically the $n$th term $a_n$ of the sequence A224239. We get $a_n$ by counting the distinct ways to fill an $n\times n$ grid with squares of smaller integer size, ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

How to prove that in optimal strategie of tower of Hanoi none of the disks can't be placed on a disk of same parity

How to prove that in optimal strategie of tower of Hanoi none of the disks can't be placed on a disk of same parity if we have 3 rods. So for example disk 2 can't be placed on disk 4, or disk 1 can't ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Cyclic tower of hanoi problem [duplicate]

If I have 3 rods in a circle and it is allowed to move the disks only in the clockwise direction. How many moves is necessary to move n disks from first rod to the third rod?
1
vote
1answer
37 views

$[x-\frac{1}{n}, (n-1)x+\frac{1}{n}]$ contains an integer $\forall x\in \mathbb{R}$ and $\forall n\in \mathbb{N}$

For any real number x: Prove that among the numbers x,2x,...,(n-1)x ,there is one that differs from an integer by at most $\frac{1}{n}$. any hints for a pigeon solution. Non-pigeon solution ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

shorter proof of generalized mediant inequality?

Show $\frac{a_{1}+...+a_{n}}{b_{1}+...+b_{n}}$ is between the smallest and largest fraction $\frac{a_{i}}{b_{i}}$, where $b_{i}>0$. Attempt Assume the largest is $\frac{a_{n}}{b_{n}}\Rightarrow$ ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Evaluate $\sum_0^\infty \frac{1}{n^n}$

Courtesy of this xkcd comic I now know that $$ \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^n} \approx \ln^e(3) $$ Echoing the views of the comic itself, if I ever find myself taking $\ln^e(x)$ then something has ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Guests at a table

Fifteen chairs are evenly placed around a circular table. On the table are the name cards of fifteen guests. After the guests sit down, it turns out that none of them is sitting in front of his own ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Ping Pong players

A and B play ping pong game multiple times. The person serving first has a probability p of winning that game. A serves the first game and thereafter the loser serves first. If p(n) = pbt that A ...
9
votes
2answers
157 views

Prove $\sum_{n=1}^\infty(e-\sum_{k=0}^n\frac1{k!})=1$

This comes from the comments section of this question here, credits Lucian. The statement is $$\sum_{n=1}^\infty\left(e-\sum_{k=0}^n\frac1{k!}\right)=1$$ This looks really interesting, so I was ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Sequences, sets and element position in the set.

I have a sequence Q with the length of N. This is the fragment of this sequence: 68 70 72 74 76 78 80 The sequence has been divided into the sets of 4 elements ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

Probability of getting it right, when choosing answer at random. [duplicate]

So there has been this question going around on social networking sites, If you chose an answer to this question at random, what would be the probability of your getting it right? a) 25% ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Fun math riddle

In his will , a farmer left 17 horses to his 3 sons with the following instructions. 1) The eldest son is to get half of the total horses. 2) The middle son is to get one third of the total horses. ...
1
vote
4answers
149 views

What is the most awe-inspiring math equation you have come across [closed]

What is the favorite equation of your life? I know this might be a subjective question, and may be not-so-on-topic here, so if anyone decides to close this, could you link me somewhere I can ask this? ...
10
votes
2answers
295 views

Is it possible to shuffle a 3x3 Rubik's cube so that there's no more than 2 pieces of the same color in every face?

I'm not sure if this question belongs here but I see lots of Rubik Cube's questions around so here it goes: Can I take a standard 3x3 Rubik's Cube and shuffle it so that, for every face, there are no ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

General approach to puzzles such as the “6 books puzzle”

Six different books (A,B,C,D,E,F) of identical size are stacked as in the figure. We know A and D are not touching. E is between two books which are both vertical or both horizontal. C touches ...
8
votes
2answers
115 views

Mathematicly Untangeling Untangle.

I have a new addiction, I play Untangle to often, and i am wondering what is the mathematics behind it. some free games: (but be warned highly addictive) Javascript: ...
-1
votes
2answers
119 views

Proving $1 + 1 = 2$ [duplicate]

How do you break down the theory of $1 + 1 = 2$? How do you provide a proof, please be precise. This is for one of my discrete math courses and I don't know how this is relevant to the course. And ...
2
votes
0answers
111 views

What are some cool projects that can be done in a high school math class?

I'm studying to be a secondary math teacher and will be starting student teaching next month (an algebra 2 class). It's difficult to find activities and projects that are actually informative and time ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Proving using squeeze principle

This problem sounds very confusing. Please help me solve this problem.
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Prove the derivative

Let $f(x) = (x^2-1)^{\frac{1}{2}}, x>1$. How do I prove that the $n$th derivative of $f(x) > 0$ for odd $n$, and the $n$th derivative of $f(x) < 0$ for even $n$?
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Convex quadrilateral

In a convex quadrilateral (the two diagonals are interior to the quadrilateral) prove that the sum lengths of the diagonals is less than the perimeter but great than one-half the perimeter.
4
votes
2answers
211 views

Careers in Mathematics?

I am a college freshman, and I really like to have goals for my life, one of the big ones is my career of choice. Previously, I have always wanted to be a programmer, and I have written a lot of code. ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

A question of divisibility.

Let $p$ and $q$ are relatively prime integers. Consider $S = \{\frac{p}{q}\} + \{\frac{2p}{q}\} + \{\frac{(q-1)p}{q}\}$, where $\{x\}$ is the fractional part of the real number $x$. Prove that $2S$ ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

25 coins are arranged in a 5 by 5 array.

25 coins are arranged in a 5 by 5 array. A fly lands on one and tries to hop on to every coin exactly once, at each stage moving only to an adjacent coin in the same row or column. Is this possible?