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George Pólya's 1945 book How to Solve It, A new aspect of Mathematical Method, is a book describing methods of problem solving. It suggests the following steps when solving a mathematical problem:

  • First, you have to understand the problem.

  • After understanding, then make a plan.

  • Carry out the plan.

  • Look back on your work. How could it be better?

Polya's work has had a large influence on mathematics textbooks. "Most formulations of a problem solving framework in U. S. textbooks attribute some relationship to Polya's problem solving stages (1945)."






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Last updated: June 27, 2007. 

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