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How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method Paperback – Apr 25 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; 1 edition (April 25 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069111966X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691119663
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 1.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #49,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Manish on April 27 2004
Format: Paperback
The issue is that solving problems is not made interesting and fulfilling experience.
This book beautifully explains the process of problem-solving. It starts from simple problems, lays down the fundamentals and leads to more complex problems.
One of the gems is the simple formula:
1. Understand the problem
2. Devise a plan (seeing how various items connect
3. Carry out the plan
4. Look back at the completed solution, review and discuss it.
It is also a good reference to teach kids how to approach problems.
Buy it and it will be a very handy reference.
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Format: Paperback
Polya prescribes different forms to approaching a problem through some guide questions that a solver should ask ("Is there a related problem"). The exposition is quite short, majority of the book is devoted to a glossary of heuristic terms which prove very helpful. Polya uses common problems in high school geometry to demonstrate his point which make it easily understandable.
I'm glad I have discovered an excellent book on problem solving which would prove indispensable in my programming career. Other programming books mainly demonstrate features of an OS or a computer language but this book goes into the heart of the computer science which is problem solving.
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Format: Paperback
How does a teacher go about teaching? It is a hard trick. Written and published in the '40s, and then again subsequently Polya's "How to Solve It" is an attempt to describe the general paths to the student's Eureka! moments. As such it is also of interest to those who go about the task of discovery, and you must constantly rethink their strategies, in the face of a stubborn unknown.
Polya's consideration of the Various Approaches to problem solving hangs on several key structural bands that take the forms of a teacher's questions: Do you know any related problem? Do you know an analogous problem? [Parallelograms are considered.] Here is a problem related to yours and solved before. Can you use it? Should you introduce some auxiliary element in order to make its use possible?
These ring true to this recently mustered parental pedantic.
Polya's actual treatise is just 30 pages; the associated 'dictionary' definitions section is quite extended, actually, making up some 200 pages. He describes going back to first principles in problem solving. January 1, 2003 is a day perhaps to remember such back tracking is sometimes in order.
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Format: Paperback
How does a teacher go about teaching? It is a hard trick. Written and published in the '40s, and then again subsequently Polya's "How to Solve It" is an attempt to describe the general paths to the student's Eureka! moments. As such it is also of interest to those who go about the task of discovery, and you must constantly rethink their strategies, in the face of a stubborn unknown.
Polya's consideration of the Various Approaches to problem solving hangs on several key structural bands that take the forms of a teacher's questions: Do you know any related problem? Do you know an analogous problem? [Parallelograms are considered.] Here is a problem related to yours and solved before. Can you use it? Should you introduce some auxiliary element in order to make its use possible?
These ring true to this recently mustered parental pedantic.
Polya's actual treatise is just 30 pages; the associated 'dictionary' definitions section is quite extended, actually, making up some 200 pages. He describes going back to first principles in problem solving. January 1, 2003 is a day perhaps to remember such back tracking is sometimes in order.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book because I saw good reviews and heard that this was a classic...so I got it.
This is the first book that I ever encountered that teaches problem-solving. Further more, it teaches it through the use of heuristics(noun: A commonsense rule (or set of rules) intended to increase the probability of solving some problem). Half of the book cantains what the author calls The Dictionary - which contains a large number of heuristics that a problem-solver can use in his attempt to dissolve a problem. The author also describes in the first few chapters of the book on how to go about solving problems. Really gave me a new perspective on problem solving...Can't wait to apply what I have learned.
Buy it!(its cheap anyway...nothing to lose)
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By magellan on June 30 2002
Format: Paperback
It's delightful to see this book is still in bookstores after 60 years, and I can still remember how much fun it was to read it 30 years ago. I came across it recently in a local bookstore, and after poring over it again, I was inspired to write a little review about it.
The most important thing about the book is Polya's little heuristic method for breaking down math problems and guiding you thru the process of solving them. Try to visualize the problem as a whole. Diagram it at first, even if you don't have all the details. Just initially try to get the most important parts of the problem down. Then try to get some sense of the relationship of the parts to the whole. Then tackle each of the component parts. If you get stuck, ask yourself if you could approach it another way, what could be missing, and so on. To this end, the questions at the back of the book are worth their weight in gold.
Polya's little heuristic and methods book is a timeless classic. This and Lancelot Hogben's "Mathematics for the Millions" have done more good for suffering math students than all the the dry textbooks put together that really don't teach you "how to solve it."
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