Accession Number : ADA186644

Title :   Understanding Algebra Equation Solving Strategies.

Descriptive Note : Technical rept. 15 Jun 86-31 Oct 87,

Corporate Author : CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIV PITTSBURGH PA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Personal Author(s) : VanLehn, Kurt ; Ball, William

PDF Url : ADA186644

Report Date : 06 Jul 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 24

Abstract : A task analysis of linear algebraic equation solving is presented. The problem space is shown to have an elegant mathematical form. Several strategies for searching the problem space are delineated, and their properties discussed. The forward search strategy, which appears to be the one most commonly taught in high-school textbooks, tends to generate non-optimal solution paths. An operator-subgoaling search strategy tends to generate shorter paths. Bundy and Welham's waterfall loop strategy is shown to be a variant of operator-subgoaling that is more amenable for use by humans. This task analysis suggests that the waterfall loop strategy may be better for teaching a high-school students than the forward search strategy.

Descriptors :   *LINEAR ALGEBRAIC EQUATIONS, HUMANS, STRATEGY, PROBLEM SOLVING, SOLUTIONS(GENERAL), PATHS

Subject Categories : Numerical Mathematics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE