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Problems from Another Time

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

A rifle ball is fired through a three-inch plank, the resistance of which causes an unknown constant retardation of its velocity.
As for a square piece of land that amounts to 100 square cubits, if it is said to you, "Cause it to make a piece of land that amounts to 100 square cubits that is round," what is the required diameter?
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.
There is a regular pentagon. The length of its side is a. Find the area of the pentagon. Generalize your result for a nonagon.
Two men rent a pasture for 100 liras on the understanding that two cows are to be counted as being equivalent to three sheep. The first puts in 60 cows and 85 sheep; the second 80 cows and 100 sheep. How much should each pay?
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...
On a certain ground stands two poles 12 feet apart, the lesser pole is 35 ft. in height and the greater 40 ft. It is sought, if the greater pole will lean on the lesser, then in what part will it touch?
The edge of a cloud is at an altitude of 20 degrees and the sun above it at 35 degrees. The shadow cast by the edge of the cloud fall on a object 2300 yards away, how high is the cloud?

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