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

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.

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?

Prove that the internal angle bisectors of a triangle will never be perpendicular to each other.

When is it impossible to make number sandwiches?

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

Clearly if a, b and c are the lengths of the sides of an equilateral triangle then a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = ab + bc + ca. Is the converse true?

Investigate the sequences obtained by starting with any positive 2 digit number (10a+b) and repeatedly using the rule 10a+b maps to 10b-a to get the next number in the sequence.

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

An equilateral triangle is constructed on BC. A line QD is drawn, where Q is the midpoint of AC. Prove that AB // QD.

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. . . .

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. . . .

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

Some diagrammatic 'proofs' of algebraic identities and inequalities.

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 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.

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. . . .

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!

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.

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

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

I want some cubes painted with three blue faces and three red faces. How many different cubes can be painted like that?

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

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

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?

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?

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 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.

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

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

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 find the areas of the trapezia in this sequence?

Kyle and his teacher disagree about his test score - who is right?

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

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?

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

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

The nth term of a sequence is given by the formula n^3 + 11n . Find the first four terms of the sequence given by this formula and the first term of the sequence which is bigger than one million. . . .

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?