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Problems from Another Time

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

Having been given the sum of two numbers, a, and the difference of their squares, b, find the numbers.
Three persons bought a sugar loaf in the form of a perfect cone 25 inches high and agreed to divide it...what was the slant height of each one's share?
A powerful, unvanquished, excellent black snake, 32 hastas in length, enters into a hole at the rate of 7 1/2 angulas in 5/14 of a day, and in the course of 1/4 of a day its tail grows 2 3/4 of an angula.
A merchant bought 50,000 pounds of pepper in Portugal for 10,000 scudi and paid a tax of 500 scudi.
A square walled city of unknown dimensions has four gates, one at the center of each side.
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.
Given a wooden log of diameter 2 ch'ih 5 ts'un from which a 7 ts'un thick board is to be cut, what is the maximum possible width of the board?
The authors recount the 'great tale' of Napier's and Burgi's parallel development of logarithms and urge you to use it in class.
Now there is a wall 5 feet thick and two rats tunnel from opposite sides.
There are four companies, in one of which there are 6 men, in another 8, and in each of the remaining two, 9 men. How many ways can a committee of 4 men be composed by choosing one man from each company?

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