You are here

Problems from Another Time

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

Given a triangular piece of land having two sides 10 yards in length and its base 12 yards, what is the largest square that can be constructed within this piece of land so that one of its sides lies along the base of the triangle?
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
What is the sum of the following series, carried to infinity: 11, 11/7, 11/49, etc.?
A lady being asked how old she was at the time of her marriage replied that the age of her oldest son was 13; that he was born 2 years after her marriage...
Suppose that the propability of success in an experiment is 1/10. How many trials of the experiment are necessary to insure even odds on it happening at least once?
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
Two merchants, A and B, loaded a ship with 500 hhds (hogshead) of rum; A loaded 350 hhds, and B the rest; in a storm the seamen were obliged to throw overboard 100 hhds; how much must each sustain of the loss?
There is a log 18 feet long, the diameter of the extremities being 1 ft and 2.6 ft respectively...
The king of France entered into a battle and was defeated. How many soldiers did he have before he was defeated?
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions