Why do we need to look for patterns?

Finding patterns is extremely important. Patterns make our task simpler. Problems are easier to solve when they share patterns, because we can use the same problem-solving solution wherever the pattern exists.

The more patterns we can find, the easier and quicker our overall task of problem solving will be.

If we want to draw a number of cats, finding a pattern to describe cats in general, eg they all have eyes, tails and fur, makes this task quicker and easier.

We know that all cats follow this pattern, so we don’t have to stop each time we start to draw a new cat to work this out. From the patterns we know cats follow, we can quickly draw several cats.

A stamp of a cat can be used as a basis when designing new types of cat.

What happens when we don’t look for patterns?

Suppose we hadn’t looked for patterns in cats. Each time we wanted to draw a cat, we would have to stop and work out what a cat looked like. This would slow us down.

We could still draw our cats - and they would look like cats - but each cat would take far longer to draw. This would be very inefficient, and a poor way to go about solving the cat-drawing task.

In addition, if we don’t look for patterns we might not realise that all cats have eyes, tails and fur. When drawn, our cats might not even look like cats. In this case, because we didn’t recognise the pattern, we would be solving the problem incorrectly.