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

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

This article invites you to get familiar with a strategic game called "sprouts". The game is simple enough for younger children to understand, and has also provided experienced mathematicians with. . . .

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

This article extends the discussions in "Whole number dynamics I". Continuing the proof that, for all starting points, the Happy Number sequence goes into a loop or homes in on a fixed point.

The final of five articles which containe the proof of why the sequence introduced in article IV either reaches the fixed point 0 or the sequence enters a repeating cycle of four values.

In this third of five articles we prove that whatever whole number we start with for the Happy Number sequence we will always end up with some set of numbers being repeated over and over again.

Eulerian and Hamiltonian circuits are defined with some simple examples and a couple of puzzles to illustrate Hamiltonian circuits.

You have twelve weights, one of which is different from the rest. Using just 3 weighings, can you identify which weight is the odd one out, and whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest?

A serious but easily readable discussion of proof in mathematics with some amusing stories and some interesting examples.

Try to solve this very difficult problem and then study our two suggested solutions. How would you use your knowledge to try to solve variants on the original problem?

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.

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

What is the largest number of intersection points that a triangle and a quadrilateral can have?

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

The first of five articles concentrating on whole number dynamics, ideas of general dynamical systems are introduced and seen in concrete cases.

If you think that mathematical proof is really clearcut and universal then you should read this article.

Janine noticed, while studying some cube numbers, that if you take three consecutive whole numbers and multiply them together and then add the middle number of the three, you get the middle number. . . .

Can you find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?

Start with any whole number N, write N as a multiple of 10 plus a remainder R and produce a new whole number N'. Repeat. What happens?

Prove that, given any three parallel lines, an equilateral triangle always exists with one vertex on each of the three lines.

Draw some quadrilaterals on a 9-point circle and work out the angles. Is there a theorem?

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

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?

Pick a square within a multiplication square and add the numbers on each diagonal. What do you notice?

This is the second of two articles and discusses problems relating to the curvature of space, shortest distances on surfaces, triangulations of surfaces and representation by graphs.

An article which gives an account of some properties of magic squares.

In this 7-sandwich: 7 1 3 1 6 4 3 5 7 2 4 6 2 5 there are 7 numbers between the 7s, 6 between the 6s etc. The article shows which values of n can make n-sandwiches and which cannot.

Imagine two identical cylindrical pipes meeting at right angles and think about the shape of the space which belongs to both pipes. Early Chinese mathematicians call this shape the mouhefanggai.

This article discusses how every Pythagorean triple (a, b, c) can be illustrated by a square and an L shape within another square. You are invited to find some triples for yourself.

What can you say about the lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral whose vertices are on a unit circle?

The knight's move on a chess board is 2 steps in one direction and one step in the other direction. Prove that a knight cannot visit every square on the board once and only (a tour) on a 2 by n board. . . .

There are 12 identical looking coins, one of which is a fake. The counterfeit coin is of a different weight to the rest. What is the minimum number of weighings needed to locate the fake coin?

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?

Can you explain why a sequence of operations always gives you perfect squares?

The country Sixtania prints postage stamps with only three values 6 lucres, 10 lucres and 15 lucres (where the currency is in lucres).Which values cannot be made up with combinations of these postage. . . .

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

This is the second article on right-angled triangles whose edge lengths are whole numbers.

Some puzzles requiring no knowledge of knot theory, just a careful inspection of the patterns. A glimpse of the classification of knots and a little about prime knots, crossing numbers and. . . .

This article looks at knight's moves on a chess board and introduces you to the idea of vectors and vector addition.

If a two digit number has its digits reversed and the smaller of the two numbers is subtracted from the larger, prove the difference can never be prime.

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

The first of two articles on Pythagorean Triples which asks how many right angled triangles can you find with the lengths of each side exactly a whole number measurement. Try it!

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?

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?

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

The picture illustrates the sum 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = (4 x 5)/2. Prove the general formula for the sum of the first n natural numbers and the formula for the sum of the cubes of the first n natural. . . .

Four jewellers share their stock. Can you work out the relative values of their gems?

A picture is made by joining five small quadrilaterals together to make a large quadrilateral. Is it possible to draw a similar picture if all the small quadrilaterals are cyclic?