# Patterns of Problem Solving

Professor Hlas

hlascs (@) uwec.edu

Hibbard 530

"It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes." —Douglas Adams

## Course Information

This course is designed to provide the strategies needed to approach any problem in a variety of disciplines and contexts. This goal will be achieved by:

**Strategy focus**– Implicit strategies and representations for solving mathematics problems will be made explicit.**Group work**– Working in groups provides insight into different ways of thinking than your own. This will be beneficial for discovering multiple solutions to any problem.**Communication**– The ability to solve a problem is largely meaningless if you cannot convince another person of the solution. Everyone will be expected to share strateiges and clearly explain solutions.

More course information is available on D2L.

### Structure

- Daily problems presented on board
- One group presentation
- Homework due most weeks
- Three exams

### Required

- Crossing the river with dogs: Problem solving for college students (Johnson, Herr, & Kysh, 2004). ISBN: 1-931914-14-1.

### Recommended

- Graphing calculator (i.e., TI-84). Calculators with computer algebra systems (e.g., TI-89) or cell phones will not be allowed on exams.

### Research background

- Polya, G. (1945).
*How to solve it: A new aspect of Mathematical method.*Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. - Galyon, C. E., Voils, K. L., Blondin, D. A., and Williams, R. L. (2015). The effects of randomized homework contingencies on college studentsâ€™ daily homework and unit exam performance.
*Innovative Higher Education*,*40 (1)*, 63-77.