Counting Divisors of a Number

How many divisors (also called factors) does a number have? We’ve answered many questions about that over the years, sometimes by just guiding a student to discover it, sometimes either deriving the formula for them or just showing and using it. Let’s look at a few. Discovering the trick We’ll start with a question from …

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Rank of a Binary Number

(A new question of the week) A few months ago, I wrote about Ranking a Word Among Its Permutations, that is, finding where a word would be found in an ordered list of all possible “words” made by permuting its letters. The problem in general requires a (sometimes lengthy) algorithm. A month or so later, …

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Polygon Coordinates and Areas

We’ve been collecting techniques for finding areas of polygons, mostly using their side lengths. We started with triangles (Heron’s formula), then quadrilaterals (Bretschneider’s formula and Brahmagupta’s formula), and the fact that the largest possible area is attained when the vertices lie on a circle. We’ll look at one more way to find area, using coordinates …

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