Section 1.1: Problem Solving

1.1 Outline

  1. A word of encouragement
  2. Hints for success
  3. Writing mathematics
  4. Guidelines for solving
    1. problem solving
    2. problem levels
    3. guideline; list (see below)
  5. Problem solving by patterns
    1. Pascal’s triangle
    2. Street problem
    3. Cows and chickens
    4. Birth orders

1.1 Essential Ideas

Guidelines for Problem Solving First, you have to understand the problem.

Second, Devise a plan. Find the connection between the data and the unknown. Look for patterns, relate to a previously solved problem or a known formula, or simplify the given information to give you an easier problem.

Third, Carry out the plan.

Fourth, Look back. Examine the solution obtained.

Throughout the book you will see examples designated POLYA’S METHOD, and these problems will illustrate these steps. You should also outline these steps when you work problems from the text designated PROBLEM SOLVING.