Systematic Guess and Check
Problem Solving Strategy
[Page under construction]
The key is that when you find that you don't have an
answer (when you get stuck), do not completely start over, but back up to
the point you made your last choice and change that move.
- Make your first move. If possible, pick a move which will lead to a minimum
number of choices for move number two (perhaps there is only one choice for
- Make your move number two, and note if you made a choice for the move
or if the move was "locked in" ("locked in" means that you did not have
a choice at that point).
- Continue making moves. At each step, note if you made a choice for the
move, or if the move was "locked in."
- When you get to a point you cannot make another move, back up to the
point you made your last choice and change that move. Then continue
making moves. If you get stuck again, back up to the point you made
your last choice and change that move. Eventually, you may have to
back up to the first move and change it.
A good problem/puzzle for practicing this process is
- The Vex Game By
Derek Ramey found at http://www.spikesgamezone.com/gameZfree/vex/index.html
I'd like to list more problem and game examples here. E-mail me with your
Back to Jim Olsen's
James R. Olsen, Western Illinois University
June 20, 2005