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How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (Princeton Science Library) [Paperback]

John H. Conway , G. Polya
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (Princeton Science Library) How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method (Princeton Science Library) 4.1 out of 5 stars (7)
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Book Description

25 April 2004 Princeton Science Library

A perennial bestseller by eminent mathematician G. Polya, How to Solve It will show anyone in any field how to think straight. In lucid and appealing prose, Polya reveals how the mathematical method of demonstrating a proof or finding an unknown can be of help in attacking any problem that can be "reasoned" out--from building a bridge to winning a game of anagrams. Generations of readers have relished Polya's deft--indeed, brilliant--instructions on stripping away irrelevancies and going straight to the heart of the problem.

Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; New Ed edition (25 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069111966X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691119663
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Every prospective teacher should read it. In particular, graduate students will find it invaluable. The traditional mathematics professor who reads a paper before one of the Mathematical Societies might also learn something from the book: 'He writes a, he says b, he means c; but it should be d.' "--E. T. Bell, Mathematical Monthly

"[This] elementary textbook on heuristic reasoning, shows anew how keen its author is on questions of method and the formulation of methodological principles. Exposition and illustrative material are of a disarmingly elementary character, but very carefully thought out and selected."--Herman Weyl, Mathematical Review

"I recommend it highly to any person who is seriously interested in finding out methods of solving problems, and who does not object to being entertained while he does it."--Scientific Monthly

"Any young person seeking a career in the sciences would do well to ponder this important contribution to the teacher's art."--A. C. Schaeffer, American Journal of Psychology

"Every mathematics student should experience and live this book"--Mathematics Magazine

About the Author

George Polya (1887-1985) was one of the most influential mathematicians of the twentieth century. His basic research contributions span complex analysis, mathematical physics, probability theory, geometry, and combinatorics. He was a teacher par excellence who maintained a strong interest in pedagogical matters throughout his long career. Even after his retirement from Stanford University in 1953, he continued to lead an active mathematical life. He taught his final course, on combinatorics, at the age of ninety. John H. Conway is professor emeritus of mathematics at Princeton University. He was awarded the London Mathematical Society's Polya Prize in 1987. Like Polya, he is interested in many branches of mathematics, and in particular, has invented a successor to Polya's notation for crystallographic groups. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The classic on HOW to approach maths problems 13 Jun 2001
If ever I get stuck trying to approach a novel problem, I dip into Polya. His heuristic method has much wider applicability than just mathematics.
Buy this book for any young person who shows an interest in mathematics. I feel it will contribute to their mathematical development
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction to problem solving. 22 Mar 2000
I have had a love affair with Mathematics for over forty-five years. This little book was one of the first books to awaken that interest - my edition on my bookshelf is dated 1957!
George Polya had the reputation of a very great teacher and inspirer of students of mathematics as well as making original contributions of his own. I recommend it to any young person (or anyone)as an excellent introduction to mathematical thinking.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to solve it ? 3 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought I would buy this book after seeing it reviewed on a Japanese mathmatics program on TV . I found the contents difficult to read not being a higher maths candidate myself. How ever after trying to digest the words of wisdom in the theory of solving problems I had to admit it is only suitable for those amongst us who have a higher maths certificae than myself.very much higher ! The authur G.Polya was an aclaimed world wide mathematician, so if you are in his league then the book is worth reading ..TR
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good 2 Jun 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a book that gives you a framework with which you can begin to systematically approach problem solving, this is it. But in the end, its still over to you to put in the effort to try the method, work with it, absorb it and finally make it second nature. Well worth the effort though.
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