German Mathematical Society (DMV) runs this online Advent Calendar each year in Christmas time. With interesting mathematical problems and concepts, which aren’t usually taught in schools, it reveals to more than 100,000 school kids the often-surprising message: Maths can be fun and useful!
Each day, from 1st to 24th of December, a new problem is wrapped in a little story about the elves, organizing Christmas Gift production and distribution as well as their everyday life on the North Pole. Participating school kids, teachers, and „just for fun“-players can access the puzzles 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 about the underlying mathematical topic or the interdisciplinary background beyond it.
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 carefully researched and especially designed for providing students with methods for exploring patterns, solving problems and logical reasoning. Through this, they gain and strengthen the 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.
Introduction to Mathe im Advent
(Info Film, 2014, German w/ English subtitles)
Mathe im Advent is under the patronage of the Federal Minister for Education and Research, Anja Karliczek MdB.
Since 2016, the project is organized by Mathe im Leben gGmbH in cooperation with the German Mathematical Society.
Robert Wöstenfeld, Managing Director
Stephanie Schiemann, Project Manager Mathe im Advent
Günter M. Ziegler, Speaker of the Advisory Board
Mathe im Leben gGmbH
c/o Freie Universität Berlin, AG Ziegler
14195 Berlin, Germany
phone: +49 30 838 75659