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Problems from Another Time

Individual problems from throughout mathematics history, as well as articles that include problem sets for students.

If 12 cattle eat up 3 1/3 acres of meadow in 4 weeks and 21 cattle eat up 10 acres of exactly similar meadow in 9 weeks, how many cattle shall eat up 36 acres in 18 weeks? (Hint: The grass continues to grow.)
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
If a ball 6 inches in diameter weighs 32 lbs, what will be the weight of a ball 3 inches in diameter?
Heron of Alexandria (ca 200) wrote on many aspects of applied mathematics.
Find the two numbers such that multiplying one by the other makes 8 and the sum of their squares is 27
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions
How high above the earth must a person be raised that he [or she] may see 1/3 of its surface?
A fish sees a heron looking at him from across a pool, so he quickly swims towards the south. When he reaches the south side of the pool, he has the unwelcome surprise of meeting the heron.
Two men start walking at the same time and travel a distance. One is walking faster and completes the journey sooner. How fast did each man travel?
A man and his wife drink a barrel of wine at different rates. Find the rate it takes both of them together to drink the wine.

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