About the Main Theme of This Blog

What we are talking about is the doctrines of George Polya.

His book How to Solve It (1945) is interesting. It is a small volume describing methods of problem solving.
When i was reading the article about this book at wiki, i read his quotes again and again.
I believe that he knows how to think, so inspired by most of scientists.

Who has influenced by him:

  • His has been translated into several languages and has sold over a million copies, and has been continuously in print since its first publication.
  • Marvin Minsky said in his influential paper Steps Toward Artificial Intelligence that “everyone should know the work of George Pólya on how to solve problems.”
  • Pólya’s book has had a large influence on mathematics textbooks as evidenced by the bibliographies for mathematics education.
  • Russian physicist Zhores I. Alfyorov, (Nobel laureate in 2000) praised it, saying he was very pleased with Pólya’s famous book.
  • Russian inventor Genrich Altshuller developed an elaborate set of methods for problem solving known as TRIZ, which in many aspects reproduces or parallels Pólya’s work.

Here, one person to notice carefully is Marvin Minsky.
Lots of great scientists inspired by him.
For example, Isaac Asimov

described Minsky as one of only two people he would admit were more intelligent than he was, the other being Carl Sagan.

I like one of his conversations very much. That is:

In the days when Sussman was a novice, Minsky once came to him as he sat hacking at the PDP-6.
“What are you doing?” asked Minsky.
“I am training a randomly wired neural net to play Tic-tac-toe,” Sussman replied.
“Why is the net wired randomly?”, asked Minsky.
“I do not want it to have any preconceptions of how to play,” Sussman said.
Minsky then shut his eyes.
“Why do you close your eyes?” Sussman asked his teacher.
“So that the room will be empty.”
At that moment, Sussman was enlightened.

Minsky is the co-founder of MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. This lab had great talents and still has.

Terry Winograd is one of them. He wrote SHRDLU was written as a PhD thesis at MIT in the years from 1968-70. This program is inspired by so many computer scientists.

Starting in 1995, Winograd served as adviser to Stanford PhD student Larry Page, who was working on a research project involving web search. In 1998, Page took a leave of absence from Stanford to co-found Google.

In computer science perspective, there is an exponential increase after Polya.
Especially these scientists i mentioned have one common thing, that is they were related to Marvin Minsky in some way. Marvin Minsky was influenced by Polya. It seems also others. :))


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