You are here

Problems from Another Time

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

Given a wooden log of diameter 2 feet 5 inches from which a 7 inch thick board is to be cut, what is the maximum possible width of the board?
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions
Find two numbers such that multiplying one by the other makes 8 and the sum of their squares is 27.
A man agreed to pay for 13 valuable houses worth $5000 each, what the last would amount to, reckoning 7 cents for the first, 4 times 7 cents for the second, and so on, increasing the price 4 times on each to the last.
A father left $20,000 to be divided among his four sons ages 6, 8, 10, and 12 years respectively so that each share placed at 4 1/2 compounded interest should amount to the same value when its possessor becomes the age 21.
Given: a circle with an inscribed equilateral triangle. The triangle has an area of 12 square units. What is the area of the circle?
A vessel is anchored in 3 fathoms of water and the cable passes over a sheave in the bowspirt which is 6 ft above the water.
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.
If 80 dollars worth of provisions will serve 20 men for 25 days, what number of men will the same amount of provisions serve for 10 days?
Two persons sat down to play for a certain sum of money; and agree that the first who gets three games shall be the winner. After a few games they resolve to divide the stakes. How much should each person receive?