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Problems from Another Time

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

Three hundred pigs are to be prepared for a feast.
An old Chinese general led his army to a river with a steep bank. Standing atop the bank, he held a stick 6 feet long perpendicular to himself.
Make a crown of gold copper, tin, and iron weighing 60 minae: gold and copper shall be 2/3 of it; gold and tin, 3/4 of it; and gold and iron, 3/5 of it. Find the required weights of gold, copper, tin, and iron.
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
A fox, a raccoon, and a hound pass through customs and together pay 111 coins.
If a ladder, placed 8 ft. from the base of a building 40 ft. high, just reached the top, how far must it be placed from the base of the building that it may reach a point 10 ft. from the top?
Assume that the human population after the flood was 6 and that 200 years later the population was 1,000,000. Find the annual growth of the population.
Discussion of 15th century French manuscript, with translation of its problems, including one with negative solutions
Curve sketching, tangent lines, and optimization, explored via interactive applets
In a right triangle, the hypotenuse is 9.434 and the sum of the sides around the right angle is 13. Find the lengths of the sides around the right angle.