You are here

Problems from Another Time

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

The cost per hour of running a certain steamboat is proportional to the cube of its velocity in still water. At what speed should it be run to make a trip up stream against a four-mile current most economically?
Divide 100 loaves of bread among 10 men including a boatman, a foreman, and a doorkeeper, who receives double portions. What is the share of each?
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
A man, woman, and two boys desire to cross a river, but their boat has weight restrictions!
A set of n disjoint, congruent circles packs the surface of a sphere S so that each region of the surface exterior to the circles is bounded by arcs of three of the circles.
An oracle ordered a prince to build a sacred building, whose space would be 400 cubits, the length being 6 cubits more than the width, and the width 3 cubits more than the height. Find the dimensions of the building.
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
Heron of Alexandria (ca 200) wrote on many aspects of applied mathematics.
Now a good horse and an inferior horse set out from Chang'an to Qi. Qi is 3000 li from Chang'an.
The steamer, Katie, leaves the wharf at New Orleans and runs an average speed of 15 mph. When Katie had gone 25 miles, the steamer R.E. Lee leaves the wharf and runs the average speed of 18 mph. How far will the Lee go before she overtakes the Katie?