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Problems from Another Time

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

A circle is inscribed in an isosceles trapezoid. Find the relationship of the radius to the sides.
A carpenter has undertaken to build a house in 20 days. He takes on another man and says; "If we build the house together, we can accomplish the work in 8 days!" How long would it take this other man to build the house working alone?
If I were to give 7 pennies to each beggar at my door, I would have 24 pennies left in my purse. How many beggars are there and how much money do I have?
A horse halving its speed every day runs 700 miles in 7 days.
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?
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
Now there are six-headed four-legged animals and four-headed two-legged birds placed together.
A farmer sold a team of horses for $440, but did not receive his pay for them until 1 yr, 8 mo after the sale. He had at the same time another offer of $410 for them. Did he gain or lose by the sale and by how much, money being worth 6%/yr?
There is a lion in a well whose depth is 50 palms. He climbs and slips back a certain amount each day. In how many days will he get out of the well?

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