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

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7
votes
3answers
663 views

Is every arrangement reachable by shuffling this way?

Suppose we have a vertical stack of $n$ distinguishable coins, each of which is either heads-up or tails-up. Let a shuffle be the following procedure: divide the stack at will into a top- and ...
42
votes
10answers
6k views

Is there something special about 2015?

Is there some property which is satisfied only by the number 2015 (among natural numbers, say) or is there a relatively simple question for which the answer is, surprisingly, 2015? This is inspired ...
1
vote
2answers
33 views

Changing the state of coins and finding the minimum number of steps to do it

I have $N$ coins all showing heads. At each turn, I change the state (i.e., a head is changed to a tail, vice versa) of $N-1$ coins. Prove that all the coins can end up showing tails if and only if ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Rigorous proof for a maximization problem

Problem: Eight players entered a round-robin tennis tournament. At the end of the tournament, a player who wins $N$ sets will take home $N^2$ dollars. The entry fee is $17.50 per player. Why is this ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

The definition of “Dhuruva Numbers” [closed]

From my readings I encountered this number called "Dhuruva Numbers" Dhuruva Numbers are defined as follows: Definition. The numbers which do not change when performing a single operation or a ...
14
votes
6answers
581 views

Fascinating induction problem with numerous interpretations

Problem: Suppose you begin with a pile of $n$ stones and split this pile into $n$ piles of one stone each by successively splitting a pile of stones into two smaller piles. Each time you split a pile, ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Covering deficits with values with different weights

SO I have a couple of assessments with specific weights as follows: Assignment 1: 5% => Mark 60% Assignment 2: 5% => Mark 53% Assignment 3: 5% Assignment 4: 5% Test 1: 30% => 47% Test 2: 30% ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Is this proof of a mathematical olympiad problem correct?

I'm quite sure about the exactness of my proof, but I'd like to hear (constructive) criticism about my writing. This is the problem: Every non-negative integer is coloured white or red, so that: 1) ...
-4
votes
1answer
71 views

cookies questions [closed]

cookies show in organised in the city of rissia. in that shows various teams participated too win some prizes. there have to solve a majar problem and find the solution to and optimal way.consider a ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

proving onto function of composite functions.

Let $X, Y, Z$ be arbitrary sets. Suppose $\alpha$ is a function from $X$ to $Y$ and $\beta$ is a function from $Y$ to $Z$ such that $\beta\circ\alpha$ is an onto function. How do I prove that $\beta$ ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

What is the most appropriate book for teaching, not the content but skills of mathematics

Hello Everyone I am a high school student currently doing Extension 1 Mathematics at my school. I am currently looking for a high quality mathematics book. Although I am not looking for a book, like ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

Algorithm for finding “fact families”

My friend's 3rd grader encountered the following question regarding "fact families" on her math homework: I was in 3rd grade sometime in the 1980s, so I don't believe I ever encountered this term ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

Is the Center of Math Wrong?

The center of math retweeted the following problem: I surmised the answer is 22, using the following reasoning: Odd entries increase by 2, whereas even entries increase by 1 $a_{1}=16, \, ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Is there an intuitive reason why hippopede, the intersection curve of a sphere and a cylinder, is traced by composing two rotational motions?

The hippopede is historically famous because Eudoxus used its properties in the first mathematical model of planetary motion. He nested concentric spheres rotating at different inclinations to each ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

Probability of the 'big guns' staying apart until final?

It is a non-rigorous discussion on probability. I am reading the book 'How long is a piece of string?' by Rob Eastaway and Jeremy Wyndham. In one of the chapters it talks about sports games and why ...
10
votes
4answers
257 views

Linear Combinations of Fibonacci Numbers (integer coefficients)

While working on problem #2 on Project Euler, I came across the need to express $F_n$ as a linear combination of $F_{n-3}$ and $F_{n-6}$. This is relatively simple to do: $$\begin{align} F_n &= ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

Axioms as recreational mathematics

Before modern group theory, mathematicians studied concrete permutation groups: algebraically closed subsets of the set of all bijections on a set $X$ in which all inverses was included. This was the ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

2D poisson equation

solve the following 2D poisson equation d2w/dx2 + d2w/dy2 = a boundary conditions y=o we have dw/dy = 0 y=bx we have cdw/dx+d dw/dy = 0 y=ex+f we have w = 0 a,b,c,d,e,f are constants its a triangle ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

How many routes are there that pass through at most one congested intersection

I am trying to solve the following problem, but i am not quite sure how to attack. Problem Description A taxi drives from the intersection labeled A to the intersection labeled B in the grid of ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Tower of Hanoi solutions for non-legal initial configuration

I just found an Towers of Hanoi game (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Hanoi) messed up by a someone to one tower not obeying the rules, eg. large and small disks where interleaved. I just ...
6
votes
2answers
71 views

How can I prove whether a $9\times 9$ square can be filled with L-shaped pieces in a completely “regular” way?

There are a great many ways to fill a $9\times 9$ square with L-shaped pieces. One of them is below. Now, note that there are eleven $2\times 3$ rectangles that are formed, as well as a larger L ...
3
votes
2answers
117 views

Transforming a matrix A into a zero matrix using finitely many steps.

Let $A$ be a $m\times n$ matrix whose entries are positive integers. A step consist of transforming the matrix either by multiplying every entry of a row by $2$ or subtracting $1$ from every entry ...
5
votes
2answers
189 views

“Bizarre” continued fraction of Ramanujan! But where's the proof?

$$\frac{e^\pi-1}{e^\pi+1}=\cfrac\pi{2+\cfrac{\pi^2}{6+\cfrac{\pi^2}{10+\cfrac{\pi^2}{14+...}}}}$$ "Bizarre" continued fraction of Ramanujan! But where's the proof? i have no training in continued ...
13
votes
2answers
116 views

Six of a kind .

$$\begin{align} ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

How do you compare carsharing plans to calculate the cheapest?

Call hourly rate = HR. Assume that I can guess my monthly usage in hours, which I call $g$. Beware that the fixed fees are presented in different units of time, so first convert everything into ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

A prove for information restoration with 2 schedules that delete information

What kind of mathematics or technique do I need to use the following? Just pointing me in the right direction is also helpful as I love mathematics but I am not so good at it. It's a problem I have ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

A riddle for 2015

How can one get $2015$ using $1,2,\dots,9$ in this order and only once, with the operations $+,-,\times,/$ ? Solving this riddle with a computer (using python) turned out to be impossible for me ...
10
votes
1answer
435 views

New Year Combinatorics

In the spirit of the festive period and in appreciation of the encouraging response to my X'mas Combinatorics problem posted recently, here's one for the New Year! Express the following as a ...
0
votes
3answers
73 views

There are two cars…

Let's imagine a $6000 km$ stretch of road. Now, there are two cars $A$ and $B$, each with average speeds of $100km/h$ (for $A$) and $250km/h$ (for $B$) respectively. If $A$ is given a headstart of ...
25
votes
1answer
421 views

Does my “Prime Factor Look-and-Say” sequence always end?

I'm trying to create a challenge for PP&CG where the object will be to find the longest sequence in a given time, but I'm worried that there may be an infinite sequence that will ruin things. The ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

Possible mathematical finishes to the darts game 501

I was recently posed a question by a friend - How many possible finishes exist within the darts game 501 which include 3 (or more doubles) and using no more than 9 darts? For those unfamiliar ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Is there a proof that zero multiplied by infinity = a real number [duplicate]

Someone told me that $0\times \infty = 1$. I am baffled by this because I thought you cannot multiply by infinity because it isn't a real number. If you can, is it possible to explain how and give ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Why does strategy-stealing not work for Go?

The related Wikipedia article states: In Go passing is allowed. When the starting position is symmetrical (empty board, neither player has any points), this means that the first player could steal ...
27
votes
1answer
1k views

X'mas Combinatorics

Inspired the various** algebraic X'mas greetings sent to me over the festive period, I thought I would try to devise one of my own. $$\Large ...
30
votes
6answers
3k views

Function whose third derivative is itself.

I'm looking for a function $f$, whose third derivative is $f$ itself, while the first derivative isn't. Is there any such function? Which one(s)? If not, how can we prove that there is none? Notes: ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Analytic solutions to a simple math trick

As proven here $3816547290$ is the only positive integer in which every digit is used; each digit is used only once; the first $n$ digits are divisible by $n$, for $n=1,...,10$. ...
-7
votes
1answer
212 views

Why is it possible to find the birth year by subtracting one's age from 114?

I noticed that any person can find their birth year just by subtracting their age from the number $114$. For example, if I am $25$ years old then from $114-25=89$ I know the birth year is $1989 $. ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Puzzling Sequence

Today I was given a question that first I thought might be easy to solve but then no matter how hard I tried I couldn't solve it.(It's not really related to maths just some puzzle) if: $$ 9999=4\\ ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

How to calculate 2-d plane from 3 4-d points?

I want to compute 3-d cross-sections of a pentatope (4-dimensional tetrahedron). The 3-d cross-sections will be calculated as: x+y+z+w=c C is a constant that I will vary to get different ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Where can Gaussian Elimination be used?

I have searched for this and came to know about it that it is traditionally used to solve linear equations, finding determinant, rank of matrix, inverse of matrix. There was a problem on codechef: ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

subtle/annoying fallacious proofs [duplicate]

I've been invited to a maths themed Xmas after party. I need to prepare a selection of interesting, and relatively simple fallacious proofs which other guests will try and find the flaw in. I'm trying ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Solving a reaction-diffusion problem using Separation of Variables

$$U_{t} - D U_{xx}= -kU$$ where BC: $U_{x}(0,t)=0$, $U_{x}(l,t)=0$ where $0 < x < l$, $t > 0$ IC: $U(x,0)=A + B cos \big(\frac{2πx}{l}\big)$ where $ 0<x<l$ where $D$ and ...
0
votes
0answers
80 views

Maths to take a user chosen number to a predictable number

As part of simple card trick, I want to allow a user to choose a number between 1 and 100 and then ask them to do various maths to lead them to the same number so their choice becomes irrelevant. One ...
15
votes
1answer
566 views

The 'Unlock All Digits' Game

I challenged myself and thought of a new problem I tried to solve. Here are the rules : The goal is to 'unlock' all the numbers $0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8$ and $9$ When you start the game, the only number ...
2
votes
3answers
50 views

$n$ is twice the sum of squares of digits of $n$

Let $f(n)$ denote the sum of squares of digits of $n$, that is $$ f(10k+r) = \begin{cases} r^2 + f(k) &\text{for }10k+r \neq 0,\\ 0&\text{otherwise}. \end{cases} $$ I've found (while ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Solving 9 sons puzzle

The following math puzzle : ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Special Binary Relations/ Empty Relation, Universal Relation And identity Relation?

The universal relation U = A × A. (Correct me if I'm Wrong). I believe that the Universal Relation is an Equivalence Relation The empty relation E = ∅. From my understanding, a Empty relation on a non ...
3
votes
5answers
93 views

Find the number of all 3 digit numbers $n$ such that $S(S(n))=2$

For any natural number $n$ ,let $S(n)$ denote the sum of the digits of $n$.Find the number of all 3 digit numbers $n$ such that $S(S(n))=2$
2
votes
2answers
80 views

Santa is secretly deranged! or, how to hand-generate assignments for a gift exchange?

Consider a standard Secret Santa/gift exchange game draw. We have a pool of $n$ people, each of whom is supposed to be assigned another member of the pool to find a gift for, without the recipient ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Multiply large numbers

Consider the product $723145878987 \times599987871$. If I want to know that what would be sum of unit and tens digit of the result then Is there a trick that I could find it as fastly as possible?