An Algorithm for Solving Hard Problems

One of Hamming's algorithms from The Art of Doing Science and Engineering.

August 24, 20201 min read

To solve hard problems:

  1. Simplify the problem as much as possible. Get rid of any extraneous parts of the problem and try to get to the core.
  2. Look for similar problems that've already been solved, and try to find an analogy to your problem.
  3. Restate the problem in as many ways as possible. Try to look at it from different POVs.
  4. Generalize the solutions to already solved problems and see if they apply to your problem.
  5. Break the problem into smaller sub-problems, and then solve each sub-problem individually.