Operation Search Equations


Thing ? = Other Thing


In the elementary schools, we are asked to solve equations with the assumption that operators are already given. For example: "4 + X = 5", or "6 - X = 9", etc., mostly with the already defined operators, like +, -, *,... etc. However, what's more useful in real life, is the creativity and operation search. So, instead of providing +, -, *, ÷, , ,... etc. as given, teach kids to do operation search to satisfy conditions defined by the equality sign.

For example, "4 ? = 5", meaning, -- what can we do with "4" to get "5". Or "6 ? = 9" -- what can we do with "6" to get "9"? Now, replace the numbers with real situations in kids' lives, and teaching operation search math can help them, fostering their creativity rather than life in one axiomatics of mathematics.

And, perhaps the question mark is not the best symbol here, as it is directional. Something like an infinite-dimensional circular question mark around one side of equation would be more appropriate.

Credits: Mindey of HalfBakery.


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So I wonder: isn't the field of "operations research" - subconsciously already trying to apply math to finding such x-es? I wonder, how does the field formally define its problem domain...