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Workshop: MATH-AI: Toward Human-Level Mathematical Reasoning

Automatic Generation of Socratic Questions for Learning to Solve Math Word Problems

Kumar Shridhar · Jakub Macina · Menna El-Assady · tanmay sinha · Mrinmaya Sachan


Socratic questioning is an educational method that allows students to discover answers to complex problems by asking them a series of thoughtful questions. Generation of didactically sound questions is challenging, requiring an understanding of the reasoning process involved in the problem. We hypothesize that such a questioning strategy can not only enhance human performance but also assist the math word problem (MWP) solvers.In this work, we explore the ability of large language models (LMs) in generating sequential questions for guiding math word problem-solving. We propose various guided question generation schemes based on input conditioning and reinforcement learning.On both automatic and human quality evaluations, we find that LMs constrained with desirable question properties generate superior questions and improve the overall performance of a math word problem solver.

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