Central European folk-dancers illustrated sorting algorithms

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21 Responses to “Central European folk-dancers illustrated sorting algorithms”

  1. burritoflats says:

    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.

    • SamSam says:

      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!”

  2. daen says:

    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?

  3. catgrin says:

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

  4. dragonfrog says:

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

  5. Anonymous says:

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

  6. sam1148 says:

    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.

  7. Marktech says:

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

  8. Birko says:

    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!

  9. RangerGordon says:

    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.

  10. RSFSmee says:

    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.

    • SamSam says:

      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.

  11. hdon says:

    Sesame Street 3030

  12. Anonymous says:

    O(n^2)
    That is all. :)

  13. Avi Solomon says:

    They have interesting similarities to Gurdjieff’s “Movements” which were based on mathematical symbolism:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7430376162567485658

  14. Anonymous says:

    But where’s the Czechsum?

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