[MUSIC] Focusing on similar or specific problems and cases to solve problems is an approach that is used in the sciences, social sciences and humanities. By comparing and contrasting with other instances of a problem using examples or working through specific cases, we can often find strategies for dealing with a problem and suggest more nuanced and detailed solutions. In his account in problem-solving in mathematics, Polya suggests several methods through which special or related problems can be solved. He suggests asking yourself initially if you know a related problem and if you have seen this kind of problem before, particularly if you encounter a simpler problem. This is because the same methods you use to solve the related problem can potentially be used to solve your current problem. However, the related problem must be carefully checked to see how similar it is to your current problem, and to what degree the solution path can be imported. Polya also writes about how in mathematics specialization can be used to explore, and solve problems, expressed in general terms. Specialization refers to using just one set or situation in a given set of objects to solve a problem. Extreme cases, in particular, can be used to test whether certain theorems are correct. In medicine, the social sciences and humanities there is also a focus on considering special cases, extreme cases, and anomalies to solve problems. Mitchell, for example, talks about using the telling case. A special example that can make underlying forces clear or illustrate how certain theories applied to real life situations. For example, in medicine, you might look at one single patient and analyze their illness in relation to other factors such us lifestyle and age in order to demonstrate your knowledge of how a particular disease presents and how it might be treated. Corbin and Strauss talk about using a negative case, an example that does not fit existing theories. Sociologists who study conversation call these deviant cases and use them to test initial hunches about a phenomenon. By considering the negative or deviant cases in light of theories and more general understandings, you can produce more nuanced ideas and solutions. Humanities subjects, in general, don't require you to problem solve as such. However, you may be asked to analyze competing theories of language or interpretation in English literature or film studies courses, with the implicit problem being, which one is better? In this situation, the cases you would be considering in order to answer the question would be the texts, the novels, poems or films that are used in the course. We can see that problem solving using special cases is used in many different fields at university and in different ways. Now we'll focus on some specific strategies for problem solving using examples, anomalies, comparisons, and special cases. [MUSIC]