shows you how computer algorithms can be represented visually, leading to better understanding of how the algorithms work:
"Have you ever implemented an algorithm based on formal description? It can be hard! Being able to see what your code is doing can boost productivity. Visualization does not supplant the need for tests, but tests are useful primarily for detecting failure and not explaining it. Visualization can also discover unexpected behavior in your implementation, even when the output looks correct."
posted by quiet earth
on Jun 26, 2014 -
If you use Netflix, you've probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you. Some of them just seem so specific that it's absurd. Emotional Fight-the-System Documentaries? Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life? Foreign Satanic Stories from the 1980s? ... Through a combination of elbow grease and spam-level repetition, we discovered that Netflix possesses not several hundred genres, or even several thousand, but 76,897 unique ways to describe types of movies.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Jan 2, 2014 -
Keep Calm and Understand the Process
. The advent of algorithm-driven sales and product-on-demand delivery systems (think Cafepress, for one) can have some unexpected results when the output is not checked carefully enough. [more inside]
posted by ChrisR
on Mar 3, 2013 -
Bees and a species of bird can solve the traveling salesman problem
"It’s Saturday; you’ve got errands to run. Your spouse wants bread from the bakery, you need to pick up the dry cleaning, your kids need new shoes, and you’ve got a dentist appointment. None of this is any fun, so you might as well do it as quickly as possible by calculating the fastest and most efficient route that takes you to each stop... Menger and Whitney both discovered that the number of possible routes between stops increases exponentially with each additional destination. In a typical model, for instance, three stops yield six routes, while eight stops yield 40,320... By setting up five artificial flowers in a pentagon shape and tracking each bee’s path, researchers discovered that every bee optimized its route, visiting the highest-reward flowers in the shortest possible amount of time." [more inside]
posted by bookman117
on Nov 19, 2012 -
is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems."
Started in 2001 as a sub-section of Maths Challenge
, it has since grown large enough to become its own entity. It now boasts over 200 problems, many of them insanely difficult. [more inside]
posted by mystyk
on Oct 13, 2008 -
If you could use a great big free handbook of discrete math and algorithms, Jörg Arndt's fxtbook
wants to be your friend. Plain text table of contents
to whet your appetite.
posted by Wolfdog
on Mar 5, 2008 -
Those are dirty numbers!
! "The images in this room are created entirely from mathematical algorithms. If you find them offensive in any way, all I can say is that beauty (or obscenity) is in this case most certainly in the eye of the beholder." (via
posted by JPowers
on Jun 11, 2006 -
is a running contest of programming challenges to hone your algorithm skills.
"Each problem is designed according to a 'one-minute rule', which means that although it may take several hours to design a successful algorithm with more difficult problems, an efficient implementation will allow a solution to be obtained on a modestly powered computer in less than one minute."
posted by Wolfdog
on Aug 20, 2005 -