The Willink School

The Willink School

January 2019 Maths Puzzle

History of Mathematics Edition

Thales of Miletus was a mathematician and scientific philosopher who lived and worked 624 - 546 BCE. He was one of the first academics of his time to turn scientific theories to explain the world around him, instead of the lore of mythology and the Gods as his predecessors did. He is also believed to be the first individual to have a mathematical discovery attributed to him; the angle in a semicircle is a right angle. In honour of Thales, can you solve this geometry puzzle:

 

The diagram shows an isosceles right-angled triangle divided into strips of equal width. Four of the strips are shaded. What fraction of the area of the triangle is shaded?

 

You can complete the puzzle as an individual or as a group. Family members and staff are more than welcome to submit solutions and enter the challenges! Hand you answer to your maths teacher or email your answer by the 30th January to Miss Teague (lteague@willink.w-berks.sch.uk). A voucher redeemable at any shop in the Oracle will be awarded for the first correct answer drawn from the hat (many thanks for the kind sponsorship by Willink PTA).