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Problem Solving book recommendations

Problem Solving book recommendations

June 14, 2024 (1mo ago)

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This week, I actually don't have time to write an article on problem solving specifically so I thought I would leave you with a few handy links to some books that I really enjoyed and that I think you might enjoy too.

Books that changed the way I think about problem solving

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton

This book highlights the importance of clarifying and questioning assumptions

Lessons:

  • The process of simplifying your explanations of a problem will help you understand the problem better
  • Break problems down into smaller / manageable pieces

The Art of Problem Solving by Richard Rusczyk

This book provides strategies and techniques for solving complex mathematical problems.

Lessons:

  • Develop critical thinking and logical reasoning skills
  • Learn systematic approaches to break down and solve problems

Lost in Math by Sabine Hossenfelder

This book critiques the current state of theoretical physics and its reliance on mathematical beauty.

Lessons:

  • Question the assumptions driving scientific theories
  • Emphasize empirical evidence over aesthetic appeal in scientific research

Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths

This book applies computer science algorithms to everyday decision-making.

Lessons:

  • Use algorithmic thinking to optimize daily choices
  • Balance trade-offs and manage uncertainties in complex situations

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

  • Summary: Explores the two systems of thinking that drive the way we make decisions.
  • Lessons:
    • Understand the cognitive biases that affect your decisions.
    • Learn how to harness both intuitive and analytical thinking.

How to Solve It by George Pólya

  • Summary: Classic book on mathematical problem-solving techniques.
  • Lessons:
    • Learn heuristic strategies for tackling problems.
    • Apply systematic thinking to find solutions.

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell

  • Summary: This book investigates the power of intuitive thinking and how snap judgments can often be more accurate than deliberate analysis.
  • Lessons:
    • Harness the power of intuition in decision-making.
    • Recognize when quick thinking is beneficial and when it's not.

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