What is problem-solving?

George Polya, an eminent mathematician defines it as an act to:
  1. find a way where none is known;
  2. find a way out of difficulty;
  3. find a way around an obstacle;
  4. attain a desired end that is not immediately attainable by direct means.
What is a problem?
A problem is an inability to proceed directly to a solution despite an awareness of the situation and an interest in resolving it.
The following are examples of different types of problems:
  • A word problem
  • A problem in symbolic form
  • A non-routine or unfamiliar problem (as in puzzles or logic problems)
  • A real world problem
  • An investigative problem