*How to Solve it: 2nd edn*. 1957*Mathematical Discovery*. 1965

Heuristic – the study of the methods and rules of discovery
and invention has until our time been largely neglected,
almost forgotten, branch of learning, The disputed province
of logic or philosophy or psychology, it tries to understand
the process of solving problems and its typical mental operations.
Today heuristic is undergoing a revival whose impetus
is provided largely by Professor G. Polya’s unique
*How to Solve It*, the outstanding modern contribution to the study of problem solving.

Though Professor Polya, an eminent mathematician, uses specific examples taken largely from geometry, his principal aim is to teach a method which can be applied to the solution of other problems, more or less technical. The particular solution of a particular problem is, for his purposes, of minor importance. The approach used in heuristic reasoning is constant regardless of its subject, and can be expressed in simple but incisive questions: “What is the unknown? What are the data? What is the condition? Do you know a related problem?” Deftly, Polya the teacher shows us how to strip away the irrelevancies which clutter our thinking and guides us toward a clear and productive habit of mind.

The “Short Dictionary of Heuristic” included in *How to Solve It*
supplies the history, techniques, and terminology of heuristic with brilliant precision,
and there is a concluding section of nineteen Problems, Hints, and Solutions.

Now available in a lower price single volume,
this time honored work by George Polya has already served
thousands of students and teachers of mathematics.
The relevance of *Mathematical Discovery* to
emerging trends in mathematics teaching has never been greater.
Problem solving strategies and principles are taken from
the standard precalculus curriculum of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, plus combinatorics.