2007 November : Dragons in the Algorithm

Archives

Searching, Thread-count and a Thanksgiving Miracle

Suppose that you have a collection of numbers or perhaps of WidgetManagerHandles — could be most anything that can be sorted. We’ll suppose that these are stored in an array and that you can take as much time as you need beforehand to organize the array, after which we will try to locate objects in it many times. The question is: What is the minimum number of item-to-item comparisons (on average) that is needed to locate a given item? more…

When Spheres Collide

If I can’t use my own blog to post nicely worked out math problems, then what good is it?

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The Quadratic Equation

I was in middle school taking Algebra I when someone, probably another student, said I should open the textbook to a page about 3/4 of the way into the book. They pointed to a terribly complicated equation and said “you’ll have to learn THAT”. more…

The Future of Television

A few days ago, version 1.0 of “Miro“, an open-source application, was released. It is a video player with a nearly-perfect design combining the powerful VLC video player, an intuitive UI design, BitTorrent distribution, and a thoughtful approach to copyright law. And it will change Television forever. more…

In Defense of the Much-Maligned GOTO

You’ve certainly heard of Dijkstra’s famous article: “GOTO Considered Harmful“. You may well even have heard about how it was actually Niklaus Wirth who gave it that title. These are interesting bits of history, but they’ve been covered by better bloggers than myself; my topic takes me a little beyond the history. Nothing energizes a blog like a good controversy, so my goal in this essay is to convince you that GOTO is actually a good feature, and encourage its use. more…

[Here there should be links to more entries, but WordPress is a pain and I can't make it work.]