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Problems from Another Time

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

How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
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.
In a certain lake, swarming with red geese, the tip of a lotus bud was seen to extend a span [9 inches] above the surface of the water.
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?
Determine by using algebra the number of degrees in the angle A where: cos A = tan A
On an expedition to seize his enemy's elephants, a king marched 2 yojanas the first day.
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?
A railway train strikes a snowdrift which creates a constant resistance. How long does it take the snow to stop the train?

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