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(Young) Math students of the world, when you don't have any idea of how to solve a problem, you can try to:

- make a drawing in order to better understand what's happening

- try to solve a simpler instance of the problem in order to see if what you are trying to prove is indeed true, why, and what could possibly be wrong in the complicated case

These are very easy advises that essentially nobody follows 🙄

* if you don't know how to solve a problem, the first step is to keep breathing, otherwise you will definitely get nowhere

* find a way to reduce the size of the problem, splitting it up into manageable chunks

* if you are not sure if some technique will help, the best way to find out is to just try it and see how far you get

@erou point 2 helps me when I'm coding too

@alexcg I agree! In fact those points are helpful for all levels of problems 🙂

@alexcg Hi! It's from this picture I made many years ago during my first math internship. It's a polygon tiled with rhombi (diamonds). It's linked with the permutation group and some Markov chain.

It's pretty interesting, I'll try to toot about that one day, after I read what I did again 😄

Colin the Mathmo@ColinTheMathmo@mathstodon.xyz@erou Sometimes when you can't solve a problem it's worth going back to the definitions.

Then:

* State the definition;

* Give me three simple examples;

* Give me two simple non-examples.

/etc/.

And yes, people ignore this advice.