A math problem is a unknown about a certain mathematical entity that must be solved from another entity of the same type to be discovered. To solve a trouble In this class, certain steps must be completed to reach the answer and serve as a demonstration of the reasoning.
In other words, a mathematical problem poses a Question and sets certain conditions, after which a number or other kind of mathematical entity must be found that, complying with the conditions set, enables the resolution of the unknown.
Let's look at a simple example of a mathematical problem:
A car that travels at a constant speed of 80 kilometers per hour passes through a city X and, ninety minutes later, arrives at a city Y. How far are both cities?
This mathematical problem offers us several data . On the one hand, we know that the car is moving at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour , which means that it travels 80 kilometers every sixty minutes . On the other hand, the statement informs that the vehicle takes ninety minutes to travel the path between the city X and the city Y .
If we take this data to mathematical statements:
60 minutes = 80 kilometers
90 minutes = x kilometers
(80 x 90) / 60 = 120
The city X and the city Y therefore they are separated by 120 kilometers .
As you can see, in this case we face a simple mathematical problem that can be solved with the call simple three rule . This rule It can be used to solve a proportionality problem in which three values are known and the fourth must be found.
Far from the statements that we all have had to face in our student stage, there are mathematical problems that have not been solved for centuries , because of relying on issues that are too complex or require very difficult checks. We find a clear example of this in the work of Johannes Kepler, a very important German mathematician and astronomer born in the 16th century, who proposed More than 400 years ago, the most effective way to stack spherical objects was to build a pyramid.
While it is a problem with the naked eye, or less complex than some equations loaded with variables that take many lovers of numbers from sleep, to give its approval it was necessary to carry out tests with many spheres and contrast Kepler's solution with other alternatives. For this reason, only at the end of 2014 the mathematical community was satisfied, by subjecting this mathematical problem to a thorough scrutiny, both in a practical and tangible way and through two computer programs specifically developed for this purpose; he verdict : Kepler was right.
On the other hand, it is important to note that the way in which we are taught to understand mathematics is usually very limited, since it is based on internalizing a series of data and looking for a single response based on them, applying the theory We have learned so far. Little children are taught about lateral thinking and the advantages of get carried away by intuition when solving a mathematical problem.
Lateral thinking can be understood as a technique based on the use of creativity to find a solution to a problem . Although it usually comes hand in hand with logic, mathematics benefits greatly from this way of thinking, especially when the complexity is such that scientists encounter a wall seemingly impossible to tear down .