Sylvie Wilson

Hare & Hounds

Hare & Hounds This classic two-player strategy game was popular in medieval northern Europe until the 19th century. It’s also known by many other names, including the Soldier’s Game, the French Military Game, and The Devil Among Tailors, to name just a few[1].  If you’re interested in combinatorics or graph theory, this might be the …

Square It!

Square It! Square It is a fun, simple online game created by the NRICH Maths Project in Cambridge, England, that’s all about – you guessed it – squares! Discover the range and variety of squares on an nxn board, and try to find a winning strategy that fools your opponent every time. Click HERE to …

Ascending/Descending numbers

Ascending/Descending Numbers If you have a card deck, go grab it. Got it? Now, take out cards from 1 (ace) through 9. Shuffle them and lay them out on the table, one card after the next (so you get a random ordering). How many ascending numbers can you find? How about descending numbers? Can we …

Mondrian Art Puzzles

Piet Mondrian was a Dutch painter who is now considered one of the great artists of the 20th century [1]. Among his other works, some of Mondrian’s art had a unique, geometric style that (no surprise) attracted the eyes and minds of mathematicians. His art looked a little something like this: From the clashing of …

Wolves and Sheep

Wolves and Sheep Here’s your chance to be the hero of the story! Help keep the big bad wolf from eating the three little… sheep. Well, I guess it’s not the same story – and unfortunately, the sheep live in a field, not a house – but you get the idea. To start this activity, you’re …

Bubbling Cauldrons

Bubbling Cauldrons: Bring Out your Inner Alchemist! For this activity, you will need the following materials: counters with numbers 1-30 on them, and 3 cauldron cutouts (you can print out this worksheet if you’d like).  Starting with just 2 cauldrons, place the counters into the cauldrons in ascending order – you can choose which cauldron each …

The Ins & Outs of Color Counting

Grab 5 or 6 different-colored sets of around 10-20 things – preferably stackable, like blocks or poker chips, but anything you can arrange into piles will do. The general idea is that we want to build towers of increasing height (starting from 1, then 2, and so on) using the different colors as our building …

The Mathematics And Strategy Behind Gerrymandering​

If you are unfamiliar with the term, Merriam Webster defines gerrymandering as “the practice of dividing or arranging a territorial unit into election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage in elections.” But rather than trying to make sense of that long string of words, let’s start with a simpler, …

Magic Squares: A Detailed Strategy Guide​

Magic Squares are simple to explain, yet they can easily lead to hours of fun mathematical explorations. For those of you who are new to the Magic Squares problem, the idea is this: Given n greater than or equal to 3, can you find an n-by-n grid of n^2 consecutive numbers where all the columns, rows, …

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