Different Mathematical Perspectives

Here is a very simple match puzzle.

Move just a single match to form a perfect square.


This is indeed an easy puzzle. However, there are two ways to solve this and the solution depends on who’s solving the puzzle.

For geometers and most people, the obvious solution is:


On the other hand, for number theorists and other people who like to view things differently, they may come up with this:




About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com
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19 Responses to Different Mathematical Perspectives

  1. lauryn jean says:

    Oh I’m going to use this in my math class and see what my students think! I love it! Great little tidbit to illustrate the importance of thinking/problem solving strategies in math 🙂


  2. maanini says:

    Love the non-conformist perspective! Keep posting!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Well, that’s smart!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. niyogisandip says:

    Brilliant! Liked the number theorist’s one. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow, that’s interesting. I really love theorists 👍


  6. A good technique, used by theorists. Nice

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Use to try a lot of this at high school…really lovely!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ha ha! I GOT it!! 😸💕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 2ndhalfolife says:

    I admit, since I’m not a math enthusiast, it took me a minute to ‘get it’. But this is great!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. prior.. says:

    I love it and thanks for this – 🙂 might use it as an ice breaker some time

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Abigail says:

    The question is, which one is the better answer? (Being a math enthusiast, I like the creativity of the number theorist’s solution.)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. These number theorists are abstract thinkers, they are the real non-conformists. Very good.

    Liked by 2 people

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