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Problems from Another Time

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

You have two sums of money, the difference of which is 2 dirhams; you divide the smaller sum by the larger and the quotient is equal to 1/2. What are the two sums of money?
On a day in spring a boy has gathered cherry blossoms under a cherry tree. Nearby a poet is reading some of his poems aloud. As he reads, the boy counts out the cherry blossoms, one blossom for each word of a poem.
Given four integers where if added together three at a time their sums are: 20, 22, 24, and 27. What are the integers?
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.
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.
In the figure at the left, if the radii of each inscribed circle is 1, what are the dimensions of the bounding rectangle?
There is a four sided field.
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?
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.
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students

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