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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?
A copper water tank in the form of a rectangular parallelopiped is to made. If its length is to be a times its breadth, how high should it be that for a given capacity it should cost as little as possible?
A ladder is placed perpendicular to the plane of the horizon, and in coincidence with the plane of an upright wall.
What is the sum of the following series, carried to infinity: 11, 11/7, 11/49, etc.?
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?
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.
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?
The king of France entered into a battle and was defeated. How many soldiers did he have before he was defeated?
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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