# George Polya 14 Most Inspiring Audio Quotes, Ideas How To Solve It

“ Trying to find the solution, we may repeatedly change our point of view, our way of looking at the problem. We have to shift our position again and again. Our conception of the problem is likely to be rather incomplete when we start the work; our outlook is different when we have made some progress; it is again different when we have almost obtained the solution. ” – George Polya

“ It is foolish to answer a question that you do not understand. It is sad to work for an end that you do not desire. Such foolish and sad things often happen, in and out of school, but the teacher should try to prevent them from happening in his class. The student should understand the problem. But he should not only understand it, he should also desire its solution. ” – George Polya

“ We have a plan when we know, or know at least in outline, which calculations, computations, or constructions we have to perform in order to obtain the unknown. The way from understanding the problem to conceiving a plan may be long and tortuous. In fact, the main achievement in the solution of a problem is to conceive the idea of a plan. This idea may emerge gradually. Or, after apparently unsuccessful trials and a period of hesitation, it may occur suddenly, in a flash, as a “bright idea. ” – George Polya

“ By looking back at the completed solution, by reconsidering and reexamining the result and the path that led to it, they could consolidate their knowledge and develop their ability to solve problems. ” – George Polya

“ The worst may happen if the student embarks upon computations or constructions without having understood the problem. It is generally useless to carry out details without having seen the main connection, or having made a sort of plan. Many mistakes can be avoided if, carrying out his plan, the student checks each step. Some of the best effects may be lost if the student fails to reexamine and to reconsider the completed solution. ” – George Polya

“ If the student is lacking in understanding or in interest, it is not always his fault; the problem should be well chosen, not too difficult and not too easy, natural and interesting, and some time should be allowed for natural and interesting presentation. ” – George Polya

“ It is hard to have a good idea if we have little knowledge of the subject, and impossible to have it if we have no knowledge. Good ideas are based on past experience and formerly acquired knowledge. Mere remembering is not enough for a good idea, but we cannot have any good idea without recollecting some pertinent facts; materials alone are not enough for constructing a house but we cannot construct a house without collecting the necessary materials. The materials necessary for solving a mathematical problem are certain relevant items of our formerly acquired mathematical knowledge, as formerly solved problems, or formerly proved theorems. Thus, it is often appropriate to start the work with the question: Do you know a related problem? ” – George Polya

“ Look at the unknown! Try to think of a familiar problem having the same or a similar unknown. ” – George Polya

“ The difference between “seeing” and “proving”: Can you see clearly that the step is correct? But can you also prove that the step is correct? ” – George Polya

“ Errors are always possible: verifications are desirable. Can you check the result? Can you check the argument? Can you derive the result differently? Can you see it at a glance? ” – George Polya

“ Imagine cases in which they could utilize again the procedure used, or apply the result obtained. Can you use the result, or the method, for some other problem? ” – George Polya

“ To teach effectively a teacher must develop a feeling for his subject; he cannot make his students sense its vitality if he does not sense it himself. He cannot share his enthusiasm when he has no enthusiasm to share. How he makes his point may be as important as the point he makes; he must personally feel it to be important. ” – George Polya

“ Math has 2 faces: Mathematics presented in the Euclidean way appears as a systematic, deductive science; but mathematics in the making appears as an experimental, inductive science. ” – George Polya