# George Polya's Biography

Topics: Problem solving, How to Solve It, Mathematics Pages: 2 (439 words) Published: March 20, 2002
George Polya
(1887-1985)
-Chronological order:
Fibonacci, Simon Stevin, Leonhard Euler, Carl Gauss, Augustus DeMorgan, J.J. Sylvester, Charles Dodgson, John Venn, and George Polya

George Polya was born and educated in Budapest Hungry. He enrolled at the University of Budapest to study law but found it to be boring. He then switched his studies to languages and literature, which he found to be more interesting. And in an attempt to better understand philosophy he studied mathematics. He later obtained his Ph.D. in mathematics from Budapest in 1912. He later went on to teach in Switzerland and Brown, Smith, and Stanford Universities in the United States.

Solving problems is a particular art, like swimming, or skiing, or playing the piano: you can learn it only by imitation and practiceif you wish to learn swimming you have to go in the water, and if you wish to become a problem solver you have to solve problems. -Mathematical Discovery

In 1914 while in Zurich Polya had a wide variety of mathematical output. By 1918 Polya published a selection of papers. These papers consisted of such subjects as number theory, combinatorics, and voting systems. While doing so he studied intently in the following years on integral functions. As time went by he was noted for many of his quotes such as the following.

-In order to solve this differential equation you look at it till a solution occurs to you. -This principle is so perfectly general that no particular application of it is possible. -Geometry is the science of correct reasoning on incorrect figures. -My method to overcome a difficulty is to go round it.

-What is the difference between method and device? A method is a device which you use twice.
(www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk)
One of Polya's most noted problem solving...