Algebraic reasoning

Applying algebraic reasoning to solve numerical problems in a real life situation is a key concept in mathematics… Practice your algebraic reasoning with these questions, perfect for GCSE students.

Determining the size of a volcanic eruption using only maths

If I told you that to determine the size of a volcanic eruption all you needed were three important measurements, you’d most likely think I’d lost the plot. Well, there’s a little more to it – aka some amazingly simple maths, but that is exactly how it’s done. Suppose you were given the daunting task…

Thick and sticky fluids

Viscosity is a property of a fluid on the molecular scale and is a measure of the strength of the internal friction between fluid particles. What this means in practice is that the thicker and stickier the fluid, the higher its viscosity. The task that you have been set by St John’s Maths Tutor Dr…

A Tetris puzzle

If you fancy yourself as a Tetris whizz, try your hand at this puzzle set by St John’s Maths Tutor Dr David Seifert… One of the most successful video games of all time is Tetris. There are seven different Tetris pieces: the long piece, the square, the T-piece, two L-pieces and two Z-pieces. Each piece…

The Game of Life

The Game of Life is one of the simplest video games ever to exist, and yet is one of the most addictive! It’s known as a zero player game as you simply choose your initial layout of black and white squares and then leave the game to evolve over time following a set of four…

Magic money tree

See if you can answer the question below set by St John’s Economics Tutor Dr Kate Doornik… You have been given some magic money.  If you plant the money then it will grow into a magic money tree, which will grow more money for you to pick the following year. To be precise, if you…

Mathematicians through history

Try out these fun puzzles on the topic of maths history set by St John’s Maths Tutor Dr Tom Crawford… Puzzle 1 Can you place the (extremely) famous mathematicians below in order of the year that they were born, earliest first? Bonus points for telling me what they studied. Puzzle 2 Below are portraits of…