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Although this is a trivial problem, it shows well the essential aspects of problem solving.


The solution starts by responding directly to what is ASKED FOR, then proceeds to supply the information ASKED FOR by the starting concept, which is the basic concept involved. Compare this with the answer book solution below.

Problem solution

The answer book solution requires substantially more mental agility than the transparent solution first presented. The answer book solutions work fine for those who are already well versed in the ideas. However, such solutions are opaque to those struggling with the subject. A useful exercise here is to mentally
compare the relative transparency of the answer book solution with that of the longer presentation.

Even the idea of change as represented by the delta symbol is a mystery to some. "Is it final minus initial or initial minus final? WHAT IS IT?"

Those experienced in the subject matter actually go through the process displayed in the transparent solution while unraveling the answer book solution. This process is essentially subsconscious for the expert.

The problem solution was developed using SureMath Copyright 1995 Howard C. McAllister

Home Page SureMath Logo
The problem solution was developed using SureMath.
Copyright 1995 Howard C. McAllister