You are here

Problems from Another Time

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

A man hired a horse in London at 3 pence a mile. He rode 94 miles due West to Bristol then due north to Chester, whence he returned toward London for 66 miles, which put him in Coventry.
A two door gate of unknown width is opened so that a 2 inch gap exists between the two doors.
A tree is 20 feet tall and has a circumference of 3 feet. There is a vine that winds seven equally spaced times around the tree and reaches the top. What is the length of the vine?
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
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?
In Archimedes' Book of Lemmas (ca 250), he introduces a figure that, due to its shape, has historically been known as "the shoemaker's knife" or arbelos.
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
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
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