Mathematical Investigation

Palandromic numbers

Palandromic numbers have digits that read the same forwards as backwards e.g. 121 or 2334332

Take any 2 digit number e.g. 26

Reverse the digits: 62

Add the 2 numbers together: 62 + 26 = 88

Investigate what happens for all 2 digit numbers.

If you repeat the proces does every number eventually become palandromic? If so how many steps does it take?

[See also Christmas Eve]

Investigate further.....

Investigations Home

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A mathematical investigation is quite different to other mathematical activities. The best investigations are open ended and allow students to choose the way they work and how they record their findings. It is one of the few occasions when 'going off on a tangent' is not only acceptable but actively encouraged (within reason).

Students may ask for 'the answers' but this supposes that the activity is closed. Investigations can always be extended by varying the initial instructions or asking the question 'what if...?'. Sometimes students point out that the instructions are ambiguous and can be interpreted in different ways. This is fine and the students are encouraged to explain how they interpreted the instructions in their report.

Some students may benefit from a writing frame when producing the reports of their investigations. Teachers may suggest sections or headings such as Introduction, Interpretation, Research, Working and Conclusion or something similar.

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