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Problems from Another Time

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

Two men starting from the same point begin walking in different directions. Their rates of travel are in the ratio 7:3.
A railway train strikes a snowdrift which creates a constant resistance. How long does it take the snow to stop the train?
A ladder is placed perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, and in coincidence with the plane of an upright wall.
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?
Two wine merchants enter Paris, one of them with 64 casks of wine, the other with 20.
The three sides of a triangular piece of land, taken in order, measure 15, 10, and 13 chains respectively.
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.
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.

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