Full Integer Collatz

(MathPickle, 2012)


Students can play with variations of the famous 1937 Collatz conjecture. Here we look at two. Students can also come up with their own Collatz-like conjectures. Brian Kehrig, a 15 year old student asked about the behaviour of the following Collatz-like idea:

Start with a positive integer. If it is a multiple of 3… then multiply it by five and add one.

Otherwise… divide by three and round to the closest integer.

Logic and mathematics are nothing but specialized linguistic structures.

Jean Piaget

Standards for Mathematical Practice

MathPickle puzzle and game designs engage a wide spectrum of student abilities while targeting the following Standards for Mathematical Practice:

MP1 Toughen up!

This is problem solving where our students develop grit and resiliency in the face of nasty, thorny problems. It is the most sought after skill for our students.

MP3 Work together!

This is collaborative problem solving in which students discuss their strategies to solve a problem and identify missteps in a failed solution. MathPickle recommends pairing up students for all its puzzles.

MP6 Be precise!

This is where our students learn to communicate using precise terminology. MathPickle encourages students not only to use the precise terms of others, but to invent and rigorously define their own terms.

MP7 Be observant!

One of the things that the human brain does very well is identify pattern. We sometimes do this too well and identify patterns that don't really exist.


Please use MathPickle in your classrooms. If you have improvements to make, please contact us. We'll give you credit 😉

Gordon Hamilton

(MMath, PhD)


Lora Saarnio