Robbo sez, "Sapientia University has posted a series of videos using folk dances as a way to visualy demonstrate various sorting algorithms. It's intensely geeky - and just downright cute too."

I love sorting algorithms -- I actually use bubble-sorts in real life all the time when I'm trying to make subtle qualitative distinctions (picking the best three flowers out of a bunch, say).

Take one Central European folk dancing team, a small folk band and an added overlay showing array locations and get them to dance the algorithms in time to "appropriate" folk music. The result is slightly surreal and for a time at least slightly hypnotic.

The EVATAR is a working model of a reproductive system made from a mouse ovary and bits of a human uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, and liver. Developed by Northwestern University researcher Teresa Woodruff and her colleagues, the EVATAR is intended to help better test the effects of medicines and toxins on women. And now […]

Texas State University’s Body Farm (AKA Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State University or FACTS) is a 45-year-old facility where the corpses of medical body donors are left to decompose so that researchers can observe the rate at which human remains are consumed by the elements, scavengers and microbes, allowing them to accurately date the […]

A better understanding how a sperm swims its way toward an egg could help inform new treatments for male infertility. Researchers from the University of York have now come up with a mathematical formula to model how large numbers of moving sperm interact with fluid they’re swimming through. From the University: By analysing the head […]

Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]

When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]

What could be more fun than a slingshot that shoots tiny airplanes? A slingshot that shoots tiny glowing airplanes of course! These toy planes are outfitted with ultra-bright LEDs, so you can fly all night without losing them in the trees.Whether you are a regular-sized child, or an overgrown adult one, these light-up flyers offer […]

If I remember correctly, they used to do this sort of special dance on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s – except while wearing Mouse ears. I appreciate this dance but still have no idea what a bubble-sort or an algorithim is.

An algorithm is a systematic way of doing something, and in this case it’s a way of sorting the dancers from lowest number to highest. Did you notice any pattern to how the dancers started out with their numbers all out of order, and ended up all sorted in order?

Anyway, what I particularly liked was that they didn’t skip anything. They still had dancers compare against each other even when the two were already in order, and they had to compare part-way up the chain at the end, even though they were already all in order. A programmer must have had the last word there, to say that “no, even though we can see that it’s all sorted, the algorithm still doesn’t know!”

Goodness. It’d be fun to see a bunch of algorithms done this way – linked list element addition and deletion, red-black trees, heck even one of Knuth’s pseudorandom generators … Choreocryptography even?

I have this strange urge to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Huh. I have this strange urge to watch Seven Brides modulo Seven Brothers, myself.

Merge sort seems like one of the most danceable sorting algorithms – it’s a natural for a square dance.

They wanted to show you the heap sort algo as well, but it’s only available pay-per-view on Cinemax :)

That’s wonderful. The thought that went into it and the choreography of the dancers. For the dancers, keeping up with the numbers and cues would be very difficult.

I Appreciate it.and I’m glad it’s on the net for viewing.

Yes, it was impressive, but I was hoping they’d finish by summarizing Proust in fifteen seconds and performing the dead parrot sketch.

That’s a brilliant teaching concept. Doing it in binary would need a fleet of amulances though, and I wonder if The AlgoRythms play Zorba the Geek?

Interestingly I was thinking the exact same thing the second before I read your comment.

But where’s the Czechsum?

But where’s the Czechsum?

Awful. Truly awful. I think I love you.

He must have Moldova that pun for quite a while …

One wonders how much better American pupils would perform on examinations of mathematics if performing accurate dances of algorithms — sorting and otherwise — was a routinely-offered teaching methodology.

Unfortunately, high school mathematics in the United States spends far too much time on completely pointless things like the chain rule in calculus, which no body will ever remember or care about unless they have a need for it, to learn anything useful like a sorting algorithm.

There was a bit of cognitive dissonance for me, because I always felt for some reason that odd numbers are male and even numbers are female, instead of the other way around.

If I remember correctly, they used to do this sort of special dance on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s – except while wearing Mouse ears. I appreciate this dance but still have no idea what a bubble-sort or an algorithim is.

An algorithm is a systematic way of doing something, and in this case it’s a way of sorting the dancers from lowest number to highest. Did you notice any pattern to how the dancers started out with their numbers all out of order, and ended up all sorted in order?

Anyway, what I particularly liked was that they didn’t skip anything. They still had dancers compare against each other even when the two were already in order, and they had to compare part-way up the chain at the end, even though they were already all in order. A programmer must have had the last word there, to say that “no, even though

wecan see that it’s all sorted, thealgorithmstill doesn’t know!”Goodness. It’d be fun to see a bunch of algorithms done this way – linked list element addition and deletion, red-black trees, heck even one of Knuth’s pseudorandom generators … Choreocryptography even?

Markov chain interpretive dance? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfOa1a8hYP8

I have this strange urge to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Huh. I have this strange urge to watch Seven Brides modulo Seven Brothers, myself.

Merge sort seems like one of the most danceable sorting algorithms – it’s a natural for a square dance.

They wanted to show you the heap sort algo as well, but it’s only available pay-per-view on Cinemax :)

That’s wonderful. The thought that went into it and the choreography of the dancers. For the dancers, keeping up with the numbers and cues would be very difficult.

I Appreciate it.and I’m glad it’s on the net for viewing.

Yes, it was impressive, but I was hoping they’d finish by summarizing Proust in fifteen seconds and performing the dead parrot sketch.

That’s a brilliant teaching concept. Doing it in binary would need a fleet of amulances though, and I wonder if The AlgoRythms play Zorba the Geek?

Kudos to the creators!

O(n^2)

That is all. :)

They have interesting similarities to Gurdjieff’s “Movements” which were based on mathematical symbolism:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7430376162567485658

Interestingly I was thinking the exact same thing the second before I read your comment.

But where’s the Czechsum?

Awful. Truly awful. I think I love you.

He must have Moldova that pun for quite a while …

One wonders how much better American pupils would perform on examinations of mathematics if performing accurate dances of algorithms — sorting and otherwise — was a routinely-offered teaching methodology.

Unfortunately, high school mathematics in the United States spends far too much time on completely pointless things like the chain rule in calculus, which no body will ever remember or care about unless they have a need for it, to learn anything useful like a sorting algorithm.

There was a bit of cognitive dissonance for me, because I always felt for some reason that odd numbers are male and even numbers are female, instead of the other way around.

But it’s a beautifully done piece! Loved it.

Sesame Street 3030