# Project Euler

By Murray Bourne, 30 Nov 2008

Are you looking for some interesting challenges that your math textbook does not provide?

Project Euler is a competition that requires skills in mathematics as well as an understanding of computer programming concepts.

From the blurb:

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.

It sounds scary, but you can see the questions here before you officially sign up for the competition.

This could be a great for class problem-solving in small groups. Students will learn lots of math and also programming skills.

Who was Euler? He was a brilliant 18th century Swiss mathematician whose contributions spanned many fields, including mathematical notation, analysis, number theory, geometry, graph theory, applied mathematics, physics, astronomy, and logic. According to this article,

[Euler] was the first to write

f(x) to denote the functionfapplied to the argumentx. He also introduced the modern notation for the trigonometric functions, the letterefor the base of the natural logarithm (now also known as Euler's number), the Greek letter Σ for summations and the letterito denote the imaginary unit. The use of the Greek letter pi (π) to denote the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter was also popularized by Euler.

That link again: Project Euler.

See the 2 Comments below.

9 Dec 2008 at 6:25 am [Comment permalink]

Hi,

I am looking for activities and ideas for junior high and high school after-school enrichment programs. This looks like a real possibility. Do you have any other suggestions. Thanks.

22 Dec 2008 at 1:13 pm [Comment permalink]

Hi Robin

You could have a look at the Australian Mathematics Competition:

http://www.amt.edu.au/

Hope it's useful.