# Problem Solving Picture

You can get better and better at solving problems, both by building up your background knowledge and by simply practicing. at the University of Budapest, and was a professor at Stanford University (among other universities). Much has been written since 1945 to explain these steps in more detail, but the truth is that they are more art than science.As you solve more problems (and learn how other people solved them), you learn strategies and techniques that can be useful. George Pólya was a great champion in the field of teachingeffective problem solving skills. He wrote many mathematical papers along with three books, most famously, “How to Solve it.” Pólya died at the age 98 in 1985. This is where math becomes a creative endeavor (and where it becomes so much fun).Ask yourself “what if” questions: You need to be sure to go back to the original problem at the end, but wishful thinking can be a powerful strategy for getting started.

Use your table to find the total number of squares in an 8 × 8 chess board.

Then: This clock has been broken into three pieces.

The goal is to find the underlying math problem, then come back to the original question and see if you can solve it using the math.

Of course, solving the question about consecutive numbers is not the same as solving the original problem.

If you add the numbers in each piece, the sums are consecutive numbers.

(Consecutive numbers are whole numbers that appear one after the other, such as 1, 2, 3, 4 or 13, 14, 15.) Can you break another clock into a different number of pieces so that the sums are consecutive numbers?

Some problems are obviously about a geometric situation, and it is clear you want to draw a picture and mark down all of the given information before you try to solve it.

But even for a problem that is not geometric, like this one, thinking visually can help!

You have to go back and see if the clock can actually break apart so that each piece gives you one of those consecutive numbers.

Maybe you can solve the math problem, but it does not translate into solving the clock problem.

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