Since 2008, the German Mathematical Society (DMV) runs this online puzzle holiday calendar each year in Christmas time. With interesting mathematical problems and concepts, which aren’t usually taught in schools, it reveals to school kids the often-surprising message: Maths can be fun and useful!

Every day from 1st to 24th of December, a new problem is wrapped in a little story about the elves, organizing their life on the North Pole. The participating school kids, teachers, and „just for fun“-players can access the exercises through an individual account on this website and select one out of four possible answers. Next morning, a detailed solution with multiple ways to solving the problem is published, often accompanied by a short text: “The Wider Angle” about the topic background beyond mathematics.

Our ambition is to change the image of mathematics, which is often associated with number tricks and boring execution of algorithms. „Mathe im Advent“-puzzles show mathematics as a multi-facetted cultural achievement, a useful toolbox, and a way of thinking. They are especially designed for providing students with methods for exploring, arguing, and problem solving, and through that a confidence in their own abilities. In the long run, we want to foster general mathematical literacy as well as interest in mathematical careers in academics and economy.

*An altered version of the example puzzle was published in The Guardian's puzzle blog by Alex Bellos in December 2015. It performed 4th most successful article with >250k views and thousands of comments.*

### Contact:

Stephanie Schiemann, Robert Wöstenfeld

Mathe im Leben

c/o Freie Universität Berlin

Arnimallee 7, Raum 205

14195 Berlin

+49 30 838 75659

schiemann[at]mathe-im-leben.de

woestenfeld[at]mathe-im-leben.de