Mathematical Problem Solving
In 1945, mathematician George Polya (1887-1985) published a book titled How To Solve It in which he demonstrated his approach to solving problems. Here are his principles of problem solving:
Polya’s First Principle: Understand the ProblemTo solve a problem, you have to understand the problem.
Do you understand all the words used in stating the problem? What is the problem looking for? What data or information has been provided in the problem? Are there any special conditions mentioned in the problem that we need to consider in the solution? Can you restate the problem in your own words? Can you draw a picture or make a diagram that could help you solve the problem? Is there enough information in the problem to help you find a solution? Polya’s Second Principle: Devise A Plan
There are many different ways to solve a problem. The way you choose is based upon your own creativity, level of knowledge, and skills. Basically, solving the problem involves finding the connections that exist between the data you’ve been provided and the unknown you need to find.Here is the assignment:
Think of a problem that involved several steps that you had to follow to reach a solution. If you can’t think of a problem, look at any of the problems in Chapter 1 in the book and pick one that you can explore here.Prepare a 200-300 word multiple paragraph response defining the problem and the steps need to reach a solution.