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Problems from Another Time

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

There is a round fish pond of certain dimensions, and into the pond is dropped a marble column. How high will the water rise?
A merchant bought 50,000 pounds of pepper in Portugal for 10,000 scudi and paid a tax of 500 scudi.
Find a number having remainder 29 when divided by 30 and remainder 3 when divided by 4.
If you are h feet tall and walk all the way around the Earth, keeping to the same circumference, how much farther has your head gone than your feet when you complete the journey?
The square root of half the number of bees in a swarm has flown out upon a jessamine bush; 8/9 of the swarm has remained behind.
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
An oblong garden is a half yard longer than it is wide and consists entirely of a gravel walk...
A man hired a horse in London at 3 pence a mile. He rode 94 miles due West to Bristol then due north to Chester, whence he returned toward London for 66 miles, which put him in Coventry.
A tree is 20 feet tall and has a circumference of 3 feet. There is a vine that winds seven equally spaced times around the tree and reaches the top. What is the length of the vine?
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions

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