Thursday, March 01, 2007

Algorithms

Mark C. Chu-Carroll over at Good Math, Bad Math has two good posts about algorithms up.

One is a basic definition of what algorithms are. Since we computer people tend to forget that most people probably don't know exactly what we mean when we talk about algorithms, it's good to have a basic online definition to point to.

The other post, is a description of sorting algorithms. Not Mark's favorite subject, but quite a good post anyway.
Sorting algorithms are one of the basic building blocks of most computer systems, and a wrong choice can have a remarkable drastic effect on performance. However, as more and more programming frameworks have build-in sorting algorithms, the exact implementation is less important these days. It's still a good idea to know the strengths and weaknesses of the algorithms, so you can select the right algorithm for the job.

I hope Mark continues to write about other algorithms; I would suggest Max Flow algorithms, as the basic problem is fairly easy to understand, and since it's more complex than sorting problems.
However, if Mark wants to stay more basic, it might be worthwhile to describe the principle behind divide-and-conquer algorithms.

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