You are here

Problems from Another Time

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

On a day in spring a boy has gathered cherry blossoms under a cherry tree. Nearby a poet is reading some of his poems aloud. As he reads, the boy counts out the cherry blossoms, one blossom for each word of a poem.
A certain merchant increases the value of his estate by 1/3...
X, Y and Z hired a pasture for the season for $90.00. Each has a different number of mules and are on the pasture for a different number of days. How much is each to pay?
I have two fields of grain. From the first field I harvest 2/3 sila (a measurement of grain volume) per sar (a unit of area); from the second, 1/2 sila per sar.
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 two door gate of unknown width is opened so that a 2 ts'un gap exists between the two doors.
A rifle ball is fired through a three-inch plank, the resistance of which causes an unknown constant retardation of its velocity.
Two circles of radii 25 feet intersect so that the distance between their centers is 30 feet. What is the length of the side of the largest square inscribable within their intersecting arcs?
How a translation of Peano's counterexample to the 'theorem' that a zero Wronskian implies linear dependence can help your differential equations students
Two travelers, starting at the same time from the same point, travel in opposite directions round a circular railway.