Intuition is pattern recognition

Intuition is a type of pattern recognition. So:

  1. Intuition can be trained by example.
  2. Garbage in, garbage out.
  3. Trust good taste.


In solving a problem, the answer must be guessed at before a proof can even begin, and guesses are usually made from a knowledge of facts, experience, and hunches.

The truly creative mathematician must be a good guesser first and a good prover afterward.

Mathematics and Plausible Reasoning, Vol 1, George Polya


Taste is not “just a feeling”. Taste is the result of your mind weighing hundreds of factors against prior experience and approximating a score.

Be approximately right rather than exactly wrong. — John W Turkey

Taste is powerful because it’s fuzzy.


See also: Kill Math, Capture, organize, synthesize, Figure-ground.

  • Updated
    Oct 30, 2016

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