How To Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method

Front Cover
Ishi Press International, 2009 - Mathematics - 253 pages
45 Reviews
George Polya was a Hungarian mathematician. He wrote this, perhaps the most famous book of mathematics ever written, second only to Euclid's "Elements." "Solving problems," wrote Polya, "is a practical art, like swimming, or skiing, or playing the piano: You can learn it only by imitation and practice. This book cannot offer you a magic key that opens all the doors and solves all the problems, but it offers you good examples for imitation and many opportunities for practice: If you wish to learn swimming you have to go into the water and if you wish to become a problem solver you have to solve problems." The method of solving problems he provides and explains in his books was developed as a way to teach mathematics to students.

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Review: How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method

User Review  - Kevin - Goodreads

A little dry/dense, but lots of cool little insights and tips & tricks to mathematical reasoning and problem-solving in general. I'll probably dig this up if/when my kids get old enough to be curious about math. Read full review

Review: How to Solve It: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method

User Review  - Krollo - Goodreads

I quite liked this book. It provides a no-nonsense guide to thinking through problems and working out what to do. Some bits of the dictionary are pretty damn fun too. However, most of the useful ... Read full review

About the author (2009)

Biography of George Polya
Born in Budapest, December 13, 1887, George Polya initially studied law, then languages and literature in Budapest. He came to mathematics in order to understand philosophy, but the subject of his doctorate in 1912 was in probability theory and he promptly abandoned philosophy.
After a year in Gottingen and a short stay in Paris, he received an appointment at the ETH in Zurich. His research was multi-faceted, ranging from series, probability, number theory and combinatorics to astronomy and voting systems. Some of his deepest work was on entire functions. He also worked in conformal mappings, potential theory, boundary value problems, and isoperimetric problems in mathematical physics, as well as heuristics late in his career. When Polya left Europe in 1940, he first went to Brown University, then two years later to Stanford, where he remained until his death on September 7, 1985.


Biography of Gabor Szego
Born in Kunhegyes, Hungary, January 20, 1895, Szego studied in Budapest and Vienna, where he received his Ph. D. in 1918, after serving in the Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War. He became a privatdozent at the University of Berlin and in 1926 succeeded Knopp at the University of Ksnigsberg. It was during his time in Berlin that he and Polya collaborated on their great joint work, the Problems and Theorems in Analysis. Szego's own research concentrated on orthogonal polynomials and Toeplitz matrices. With the deteriorating situation in Germany at that time, he moved in 1934 to Washington University, St. Louis, where he remained until 1938, when he moved to Stanford. As department head at Stanford, he arranged for Polya to jointhe Stanford faculty in 1942. Szego remained at Stanford until his death on August 7, 1985.

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