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# 7/7/2014

Dec, 2009

Description of a Problem

## A problem is a situation that fulfills

the following conditions

WAJ3052

## It involves a question that represents

a challenge for the individual
immediately
The individual accepts the challenge

LITERASI NOMBOR
Minggu 3

## Problem solving is a process by

which an individual

PROBLEM
POSING

UNDERSTANDING THE
PROBLEM

LOOKING BACK

DEVISING A PLAN

CARRYING OUT
THE PLAN

## Heuristics refer to strategies or just

rules of thumb employed upon
perform problem solving in human
beings and machines

## uses previously learned concepts,

facts and relationships,
along with various reasoning skills
and strategies,
to answer a question or questions

## Polyas 4-step heuristics

Heuristic Approach

## According to the legend of the Tower of Brahma,

there are 3 vertical diamond shafts in a temple in
the Indian city of Benares. At the time of creation,
the god Brahma placed 64 golden disks on one
shaft, in order of size with the largest at the
bottom. The temple priests are to transfer all 64
fragile disks from the original shaft to another,
one disk at a time. Because of their fragility, a
larger disk may never be placed on a smaller one, and there is
only one intermediate shaft where disks can be temporarily placed.
It is said that before the priests complete their task the temple will
crumble into dust and the world will vanish in a clap of thunder.

## How long will it take to complete the task at the rate of

one step per second?

7/7/2014

Strategies used:

Solution

## Solve a Simpler Problem

Identify a Subgoal
Act out the Problem
Look for a Pattern
Make a Table

264 1 s
=18,446,744,073,709,551,615 s
= 584,542,000,000 years
= 584 billion years
(current age of the Universe = 14 billion years)

## The Allowance Challenge

Choice A
RM 1500
monthly

Handshake problem

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## How many handshakes are there

in a group of 20 people?

Choice B
1 cent on Day 1, double that
amount on Day 2, double that
amount on Day3, continuing
through the month.

## The Allowance Challenge.xls

Handshake problem

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Handshake problem

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Strategies used:
Solve a Simpler Problem,
Act out the Problem
Make a Table
Look for a Pattern
Examine a Related Problem
Work Backward

7/7/2014

Newspaper Fold

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1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.

## Ill give RM10 to the first person

who can fold this newspaper in
half, 10 times.

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## Trial & error (teka & uji)

Construct a model (membina model)
Use a diagram (menggunakan gambarajah)
Simplify the problem (memudahkan masalah)
Look for a pattern (mencari pola)
Act out the problem (melakonkan masalah)
Investigate all possibilities (menyiasat semua kemungkinan)
Look in a different way (melihat cara berlainan)
Identify a subgoal (mengenalpasti sub-matlamat)
Work backwards (kerja secara songsang)
Use algebra (menggunakan algebra)

Newspaper Fold.xls

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## Strategies are NOT algorithm

Flexibility in using strategies is the
KEY to solving any problem

Types of Problems

## Problems that are essentially

puzzles, with no real world
relevance, but involve wide range
of maths
Example

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Non-routine
Application
Investigation
Strategy games

## No single strategy for all problems

Some strategies are used more often
Strategies are often used in
combination
Different strategies may be used to
solve the same problem

Non-routine

Types of Problems

Types of Problems
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Non-routine

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Another example
Place number 1 to 9 in the diagram such
as the total of each line is the same.

## There are 40 vehicles and 100 wheels in

a parking lot. How many are cars, and
how many are motor cycles?

7/7/2014

Types of Problems

Application

Types of Problems
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Investigation

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## Open ended problems enabling

exploration of math concepts
Example

situation
Example

## Make a number of shapes with the same

perimeter on grid paper. How their areas
compare?
Choose any 2-digit number. Add the sum of its
digits and subtract this sum from the number.
Continue. What always happens? Why?

## How much water is wasted by a dripping

tap in a year?

Types of Problems

Strategy games

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## Games that player could win by

employing strategies
Example
Two players take turn to choose a
number from 1 to 6. The chosen
numbers are accumulated. The player
reaching first the sum of 50 wins.
What is the winning strategy?
Does it matter who starts first?