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13 Proof Strategies

13 Proof Strategies - Handout#13 CS103A Robert Plummer...

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Handout #13 CS103A January 25, 2008 Robert Plummer Proof Strategies Where To Start? As you begin a proof, convince yourself that the conclusion is indeed true by studying the premises and understanding their meaning: Analyze the structure of each premise and the conclusion—this may give you a clue about how to proceed. Make sure you understand all the terms and operations used in the premises and conclusion—get your definitions ready. Replace terms with their definitions to get clues on how to proceed. (This will be important when we are doing math proofs.) We typically prove general conclusions about a set of objects. One way to understand what is to be proved is by proving the conclusion for a particular element of the set. Convince yourself that the conclusion is true for this element (and if you find that it is not, you have just disproved the conclusion). This will often give you insight into how to do the general proof. For the kinds of proofs

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13 Proof Strategies - Handout#13 CS103A Robert Plummer...

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