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Discussion: All Topics in Algebra
Topic: Solving Equations Using Backtracking


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Subject:   RE: Solving Equations Using Backtracking
Author: Mathman
Date: Nov 3 2006
On Nov  3 2006, db wrote:
Please send me more information.  The name you
> have given your method suggests lots, what do you have in mind?
> mathmaid@mac.com

Nothing seems to be forthcoming.  I did a Google and found a technical school,
Mirani High, in Australia.  Further Google on "backtracking" brought up
this:
http://www.learner.org/channel/courses/learningmath/algebra/session6/part_b/backtracking.html
The site contains a video showing a demonstration of the technique.

I had been aware of that sort of process as one of the products of our
university educational institution, full of PhDs of education and psychologists,
who are not mathematicians.  The process is simple enough, but would apply
readily only to the simplest of equations involving one variable, and is not in
my opinion a technique of any extended usefulness.  It would possibly get a
result where all else fails, but does little towards the deeper understanding,
and so retention and usefulness gained from more standard techniques.  In the
same sense, one can readily use Cramer's Rule to solve two equations, two
variables, but I'd not recommend that in a non-academic environment except
also as one to possibly apply where all else fails, and as a "Do This This Way"
approach to finding a solution.

There you have it.

David.

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