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Problems from Another Time

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

An old Chinese general led his army to a river with a steep bank. Standing atop the bank, he held a stick 6 feet long perpendicular to himself.
Wanting to know the breadth of a river, I measured a base of 500 yards in a straight line close by one side of it.
Make a crown of gold copper, tin, and iron weighing 60 minae: gold and copper shall be 2/3 of it; gold and tin, 3/4 of it; and gold and iron, 3/5 of it. Find the required weights of gold, copper, tin, and iron.
A castle has n rooms each of which has 7 samurai in it.
If a ladder, placed 8 ft. from the base of a building 40 ft. high, just reached the top, how far must it be placed from the base of the building that it may reach a point 10 ft. from the top?
Find two number with sum 20 and when squared their sum is 208.
Assume that the human population after the flood was 6 and that 200 years later the population was 1,000,000. Find the annual growth of the population.
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions
Given the cats eye as shown. Let the radius of the eye be given by R. What is the area of the pupil?
In a right triangle, let the perpendicular be 5 and the sum of the base and hypotenuse 25. Find the lengths of the base and hypotenuse

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