Advent Calendar 2011 - a mathematical activity for each day during the run-up to Christmas.

The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient mathematical challenge. Working on the building blocks may help you to explain the patterns you notice.

Can you make sense of these three proofs of Pythagoras' Theorem?

Powers of numbers behave in surprising ways. Take a look at some of these and try to explain why they are true.

Can you work through these direct proofs, using our interactive proof sorters?

Can you rearrange the cards to make a series of correct mathematical statements?

This shape comprises four semi-circles. What is the relationship between the area of the shaded region and the area of the circle on AB as diameter?

The sums of the squares of three related numbers is also a perfect square - can you explain why?

When number pyramids have a sequence on the bottom layer, some interesting patterns emerge...

Show that if you add 1 to the product of four consecutive numbers the answer is ALWAYS a perfect square.

Prove that if the integer n is divisible by 4 then it can be written as the difference of two squares.

A, B & C own a half, a third and a sixth of a coin collection. Each grab some coins, return some, then share equally what they had put back, finishing with their own share. How rich are they?

Caroline and James pick sets of five numbers. Charlie chooses three of them that add together to make a multiple of three. Can they stop him?

Find all real solutions of the equation (x^2-7x+11)^(x^2-11x+30) = 1.

Which set of numbers that add to 10 have the largest product?

Use this interactivity to sort out the steps of the proof of the formula for the sum of an arithmetic series. The 'thermometer' will tell you how you are doing

This is an interactivity in which you have to sort the steps in the completion of the square into the correct order to prove the formula for the solutions of quadratic equations.

Take a complicated fraction with the product of five quartics top and bottom and reduce this to a whole number. This is a numerical example involving some clever algebra.

Can you convince me of each of the following: If a square number is multiplied by a square number the product is ALWAYS a square number...

Find the missing angle between the two secants to the circle when the two angles at the centre subtended by the arcs created by the intersections of the secants and the circle are 50 and 120 degrees.

Take any prime number greater than 3 , square it and subtract one. Working on the building blocks will help you to explain what is special about your results.

It is impossible to trisect an angle using only ruler and compasses but it can be done using a carpenter's square.

Four identical right angled triangles are drawn on the sides of a square. Two face out, two face in. Why do the four vertices marked with dots lie on one line?

Take any two numbers between 0 and 1. Prove that the sum of the numbers is always less than one plus their product?

Find all positive integers a and b for which the two equations: x^2-ax+b = 0 and x^2-bx+a = 0 both have positive integer solutions.

To find the integral of a polynomial, evaluate it at some special points and add multiples of these values.

What can you say about the common difference of an AP where every term is prime?

Find the largest integer which divides every member of the following sequence: 1^5-1, 2^5-2, 3^5-3, ... n^5-n.

Explore the continued fraction: 2+3/(2+3/(2+3/2+...)) What do you notice when successive terms are taken? What happens to the terms if the fraction goes on indefinitely?

Is the mean of the squares of two numbers greater than, or less than, the square of their means?

Three points A, B and C lie in this order on a line, and P is any point in the plane. Use the Cosine Rule to prove the following statement.

By considering powers of (1+x), show that the sum of the squares of the binomial coefficients from 0 to n is 2nCn

Given any two polynomials in a single variable it is always possible to eliminate the variable and obtain a formula showing the relationship between the two polynomials. Try this one.

Can you see how this picture illustrates the formula for the sum of the first six cube numbers?

If for any triangle ABC tan(A - B) + tan(B - C) + tan(C - A) = 0 what can you say about the triangle?

What is the area of the quadrilateral APOQ? Working on the building blocks will give you some insights that may help you to work it out.

Can you make sense of the three methods to work out the area of the kite in the square?

Imagine we have four bags containing numbers from a sequence. What numbers can we make now?

By proving these particular identities, prove the existence of general cases.

If I tell you two sides of a right-angled triangle, you can easily work out the third. But what if the angle between the two sides is not a right angle?

Given a set of points (x,y) with distinct x values, find a polynomial that goes through all of them, then prove some results about the existence and uniqueness of these polynomials.

A introduction to how patterns can be deceiving, and what is and is not a proof.

The twelve edge totals of a standard six-sided die are distributed symmetrically. Will the same symmetry emerge with a dodecahedral die?

L triominoes can fit together to make larger versions of themselves. Is every size possible to make in this way?

Explore what happens when you draw graphs of quadratic equations with coefficients based on a geometric sequence.

This article stems from research on the teaching of proof and offers guidance on how to move learners from focussing on experimental arguments to mathematical arguments and deductive reasoning.

This problem is a sequence of linked mini-challenges leading up to the proof of a difficult final challenge, encouraging you to think mathematically. Starting with one of the mini-challenges, how. . . .