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

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.

Six points are arranged in space so that no three are collinear. How many line segments can be formed by joining the points in pairs?

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

Toni Beardon has chosen this article introducing a rich area for practical exploration and discovery in 3D geometry

In how many distinct ways can six islands be joined by bridges so that each island can be reached from every other island...

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. . . .

Can you cross each of the seven bridges that join the north and south of the river to the two islands, once and once only, without retracing your steps?

Use the numbers in the box below to make the base of a top-heavy pyramid whose top number is 200.

There are four children in a family, two girls, Kate and Sally, and two boys, Tom and Ben. How old are the children?

Problem solving is at the heart of the NRICH site. All the problems give learners opportunities to learn, develop or use mathematical concepts and skills. Read here for more information.

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. . . .

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.

If you can copy a network without lifting your pen off the paper and without drawing any line twice, then it is traversable. Decide which of these diagrams are traversable.

Spotting patterns can be an important first step - explaining why it is appropriate to generalise is the next step, and often the most interesting and important.

Euler discussed whether or not it was possible to stroll around Koenigsberg crossing each of its seven bridges exactly once. Experiment with different numbers of islands and bridges.

What happens when you add three numbers together? Will your answer be odd or even? How do you know?

Look at what happens when you take a number, square it and subtract your answer. What kind of number do you get? Can you prove it?

This article introduces the idea of generic proof for younger children and illustrates how one example can offer a proof of a general result through unpacking its underlying structure.

Look at three 'next door neighbours' amongst the counting numbers. Add them together. What do you notice?

Are these statements relating to odd and even numbers always true, sometimes true or never true?

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

Are these statements always true, sometimes true or never true?

A huge wheel is rolling past your window. What do you see?

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!

I added together some of my neighbours' house numbers. Can you explain the patterns I noticed?

Arrange the numbers 1 to 16 into a 4 by 4 array. Choose a number. Cross out the numbers on the same row and column. Repeat this process. Add up you four numbers. Why do they always add up to 34?

I start with a red, a blue, a green and a yellow marble. I can trade any of my marbles for three others, one of each colour. Can I end up with exactly two marbles of each colour?

I start with a red, a green and a blue marble. I can trade any of my marbles for two others, one of each colour. Can I end up with five more blue marbles than red after a number of such trades?

From a group of any 4 students in a class of 30, each has exchanged Christmas cards with the other three. Show that some students have exchanged cards with all the other students in the class. How. . . .

Baker, Cooper, Jones and Smith are four people whose occupations are teacher, welder, mechanic and programmer, but not necessarily in that order. What is each person’s occupation?

A standard die has the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are opposite 6, 5 and 4 respectively so that opposite faces add to 7? If you make standard dice by writing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 on blank cubes you will find. . . .

This addition sum uses all ten digits 0, 1, 2...9 exactly once. Find the sum and show that the one you give is the only possibility.

Can you find different ways of creating paths using these paving slabs?

What does logic mean to us and is that different to mathematical logic? We will explore these questions in this article.

A game for 2 players that can be played online. Players take it in turns to select a word from the 9 words given. The aim is to select all the occurrences of the same letter.

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

You have been given nine weights, one of which is slightly heavier than the rest. Can you work out which weight is heavier in just two weighings of the balance?

Here are some examples of 'cons', and see if you can figure out where the trick is.

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

Use your logical reasoning to work out how many cows and how many sheep there are in each field.

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.

Can you arrange the numbers 1 to 17 in a row so that each adjacent pair adds up to a square number?

Construct two equilateral triangles on a straight line. There are two lengths that look the same - can you prove it?

Four of these clues are needed to find the chosen number on this grid and four are true but do nothing to help in finding the number. Can you sort out the clues and find the number?

A little bit of algebra explains this 'magic'. Ask a friend to pick 3 consecutive numbers and to tell you a multiple of 3. Then ask them to add the four numbers and multiply by 67, and to tell you. . . .