Describe about the Application of Problem Solving Process in Real-Life Problems.
One of the problems solving techniques that can be employed in working out mathematical problems is Polya’ Method. The method has five fundamental steps that when accurately followed, can solve mathematical problems that appear complex (Polya, 2014). The steps involved in the Polya’ Method include
Understand the Problem: this entails analyzing the problem by splitting it into simpler parts and solving the problem in parts instead of solving it wholly.
The device the necessary plan: this involves planning how to solve the problem by devising an equation, pattern, or table to make the problem less complex.
Carry out the plan to solve the problem: this involves the implementation of the plans devised to solve the problem.
Look Back: this involves reflecting on the steps employed in solving the problem.
The four steps are summarized in the illustration below (Yuan, 2013).
Figure 1Polya’ Method of solving a problem
Application of the Polya’ Method in solving a real life problem
A father is nine times his son’s age now. In three years from now, the father will be five times the age of the son. Determine the age of the father.
Understand the Problem
The age of the son is unknown, therefore; it is assigned a value χ.
If the age of the son = χ, then the age of the father = 9χ
Device the necessary plan
To solve the problem, an equation that involves the unknown variables is used to make it a mathematical problem.
In three years from now, the age of the son will be the current age + 3
Meaning, son’s age = χ + 3
While the father’s age = 9χ + 3
However, the father’s age will be five times that of the son in three years from now.
Therefore, 5(χ + 3) = 9χ + 3
Carryout the plan to solve the problem
Solving for the unknown in the equation, 5(χ + 3) = 9χ + 3
χ = 3
From the solution the father’s age is 9χ = 3*9 = 27 years old
Yuan, S. (2013). Incorporating Pólya’s Problem Solving Method in Remedial Math. Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, 3(1), 96-107.
Polya, G. (2014). How to solve it: A new aspect of mathematical method. Princeton university press.
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