Money, Money, Money

This week’s challenge is to do with money. Money is a strange type of measuring tool but it kind of works to measure some very important things to our society.

It can be used to measure value. Value is rarely an exact measure (but what is). You can imagine trying to measure how much someone values something by how much they are willing to buy or sell it for.

But in reality, we use money to measure all manner of things from status to quality. In Debt, the first 5000 years, David Graeber argues that money is a measure of debt. That is the definition that has resonated best with me but it’s certainly not a concluded argument.

This week’s challenge is more about how we ask questions to find out new information. This is based on a constraint, that there are 10 coins and 2 different denominations to make a sum under £1. See how much you can discover about the make up of that money by a few questions.

There was a sudoku puzzle video that went viral last week that exemplifies this type of puzzle that seems to have too little information to solve but as you start to ask questions, it starts to get clearer and clearer. It’s actually fascinating to watch even if you don’t play sudoku.

And of course, it’s very much like Professor Andrew Wiles’ description of maths as a dark room

Download or share all of these challenges with this pdf and let us know how you got on with it by tweeting using #momentofmaths and start to see Every moment is a #momentofmaths.

If you would be interested in joining an online maths club session that explores this or other Maths Explorers’ challenges, our online programme are now live. There are a few places remaining. Find out more at

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