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Peer Review

Nick's Mathematical Puzzles

by Nick Hobson


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Dec 05, 2012 by Mathematics
Overview: This site contains 160 mathematical puzzles, including hints and solutions.
Type of Material: Collection
Recommended Uses: Used for math clubs, teams, competitions, or just for a challenge.
Technical Requirements: Works on every browser
Identify Major Learning Goals: This collection provides challenging mathematics problems to be used for recreational math or for contests.
Target Student Population: Math enthusiasts
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A significant amount of mathematical maturity.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: This site contains a very large collection of very challenging math problems. Information (one star to five stars is given about the difficulty). Each problem has a link to a hint and a link to the fully worked out solution. The problems come from diverse areas of mathematics, the hints provide a key step, and the solutions are easy to follow.
Concerns: The puzzles are all of a high to severe level of difficulty. Even the one star problems are quite difficult. This is not indicated on the main page and students could become discouraged about mathematics if they are not able to do any of the problems.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The “About” page provides information about the site and instructs the user how to use the hints and solutions. The reference to “teaching tool” is less relevant for this site, as it would not be used in a particular class. It will be used by students who want a math challenge or for math contests.
Concerns: None

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: It is easy to jump in and work on puzzles from this site. The navigation is easy and the instructions are clear.
Concerns: Each individual puzzle solution/hint/answer page could use a “Back” button that would take a user back to the statement of this particular puzzle.