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Mathematics and Plausible Reasoning, Volume 1: Induction and Analogy in Mathematics (Paperback)


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Mathematics and Plausible Reasoning, Volume 1: Induction and Analogy in Mathematics Cover Image
By George Polya, Sam Sloan (Foreword by)


This is a guide to the practical art of plausible reasoning, particularly in mathematics but also in every field of human activity. Using mathematics as the example par excellence, Professor Polya shows how even that most rigorous deductive discipline is heavily dependent on techniques of guessing, inductive reasoning, and reasoning by analogy. In solving a problem, the answer must be guessed at before a proof can even begin, and guesses are usually made from a knowledge of facts, experience, and hunches. The truly creative mathematician must be a good guesser first and a good prover afterward; many important theorems have been guessed but not proved until much later. In the same way, solutions to problems can be guessed, and a good guesser is much more likely to find a correct solution. This work might have been called "How to Become a Good Guesser." Professor Polya's deep understanding of the psychology of creative mathematics enables him to show the reader how to attack a new problem, how to get at the heart of it, what trains of thought may lead to a solution. There is no magic formula here, but there is much practical wisdom.
Product Details
ISBN: 9784871878333
ISBN-10: 4871878333
Publisher: Ishi Press
Publication Date: July 7th, 2009
Pages: 300
Language: English