what Sir Walter Raleigh is supposed to have done is summon his chief calculator, Thomas Harriot

who, also supposedly, devised a formula

the intention of this task is that students

(a) guess the number in the pile and then

(b) substitute into a formula to check their answer(s)

if you know the formula for summing the squares and for a triangular number, the formula for a rectangular based pile can be derived

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