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Examples of creative algorithms

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Cornfed
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Examples of creative algorithms

Post by Cornfed » July 16th, 2013, 11:57 pm

Since I failed to elicit any examples of creative computer programs invented by females in another thread, I thought I would cast the net a bit wider. In this thread, people who write computer programs could tell of original algorithms they have come up with. Since there are several people employed to be programmers on this forum, some of whom may actually be programmers, this should be interesting.

I'll start with an example, which is admittedly lame, since I have never been a professional programmer. This was for a college group assignment. The assignment was to search for a particular word in the manual pages of Linux, and do it with a faster run time than the man -k program (there was a bit more to it but that was the gist of it). Trawling through the pages proved far too slow, so the only solution was some kind of indexing system. The one I thought of was this: Create two text files. The first being a list of the manual pages in Linux, one per line. The second being a list of the words in manual programs, one per line, with the line numbers of the manual pages they appear in, as listed in the first file, listed on the same line. (An objection raised to this was that the line length of lines containing common words like "the" would be too long, so we were stymied for a while. But we were then advised that line lengths in a text file were arbitrary. Who knew?)

When the program was called it would simply trawl down the second file for the appropriate word and then print the lines of the first file corresponding to the numbers on the line to the screen. This method seems obvious in hindsight, but our program had the fastest runtime, took up the least disk space and had the least code of the entire class. I guess it takes a genius like me to think of the obvious. :)




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Post by mguy » July 17th, 2013, 12:50 am

search spanning tree.
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publicduende
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Post by publicduende » July 17th, 2013, 2:38 pm

I guess you want to be congratulated for a good piece of though/intuition in your high school years. Cool, well done.
Yet...what makes you think that a girl wouldn't have never been able to come to a similar or even better idea?

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Cornfed
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Post by Cornfed » July 17th, 2013, 10:18 pm

publicduende wrote:I guess you want to be congratulated for a good piece of though/intuition in your high school years. Cool, well done.
I was more hoping to get some interesting algorithms from other people.
Yet...what makes you think that a girl wouldn't have never been able to come to a similar or even better idea?
Because aside from females being batshit insane, creativity seems to be a form of channeling, and female greymatterless brains don't seem to be the right antenna to channel stuff. Consider that I have asked for stuff invented by females and no-one has even come up with a trivial example like the one above. What does that tell you?

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publicduende
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Post by publicduende » July 18th, 2013, 12:30 am

Cornfed wrote:Because aside from females being batshit insane, creativity seems to be a form of channeling, and female greymatterless brains don't seem to be the right antenna to channel stuff. Consider that I have asked for stuff invented by females and no-one has even come up with a trivial example like the one above. What does that tell you?
5 seconds Google search:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:W ... scientists

Needless to reiterate, many consider the world's first programmer to be a woman, Ada Lovelace. From Wikipedia:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron and now commonly known as Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often considered the world's first computer programmer.

Look, kudos to your intuition, you were able to devise a simple and effective form of indexing that is actually present in most algorithm textbooks. I can imagine you felt proud of it, yet there is no ground to think that no woman would have devised something similar or better in the same situation you were, let alone because of a presumed (neuro)biological inferiority.

What I would concede you is the ability men have over women to add a commercial flare to a computer science achievement, or anything that transitions from theory to application for that matter. We have the testosterone boost needed to compete in any innovative industry and push to make something happen. Women rarely show that level of resolve, patience and resilience in the face of rejection. This also explains well why most female high achievers are comfortable to work in (relatively) low-confrontation environments, like the academia or government/corporate R&D labs.

Dude, there's a famous Japanese proverb: frog of pond doesn't know the ocean. Anyone has a right to be satisfied of their own achievements and draw any kind of conclusions they want. This is though only until they step out of their pond and are forced to take a look at the bigger picture. Then, if they have a shroud of intellectual honesty, their perspective changes. I have an Engineering degree and 2 Masters, and boy I have always felt at the edge of mediocrity compared to the fine intellects I could (and did) meet in the boundless talent ocean that is London.

Peace.

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Cornfed
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Post by Cornfed » July 18th, 2013, 1:34 am

publicduende wrote:
Cornfed wrote:Because aside from females being batshit insane, creativity seems to be a form of channeling, and female greymatterless brains don't seem to be the right antenna to channel stuff. Consider that I have asked for stuff invented by females and no-one has even come up with a trivial example like the one above. What does that tell you?
5 seconds Google search:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:W ... scientists

Needless to reiterate, many consider the world's first programmer to be a woman, Ada Lovelace. From Wikipedia:

Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (10 December 1815 – 27 November 1852), born Augusta Ada Byron and now commonly known as Ada Lovelace, was an English mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage's early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often considered the world's first computer programmer.
Yes and there is also Grace Hooper. I am rather suspicious of these female programers. This could be the subject for another thread. But even if they were on the level, exceptions don't change the rule.
Look, kudos to your intuition, you were able to devise a simple and effective form of indexing that is actually present in most algorithm textbooks.

Well, that just goes to show that all great minds think alike. Although, given that I came up with the idea 13 years ago in university, who is to say that I am not the unaccredited originator of the idea? Probably not of course. But being able to pull creative stuff out of the cosmos is cool and what, I think, separates us from the animals.
What I would concede you is the ability men have over women to add a commercial flare to a computer science achievement, or anything that transitions from theory to application for that matter. We have the testosterone boost needed to compete in any innovative industry and push to make something happen. Women rarely show that level of resolve, patience and resilience in the face of rejection. This also explains well why most female high achievers are comfortable to work in (relatively) low-confrontation environments, like the academia or government/corporate R&D labs.
Finally some common sense.

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droid
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Re: Examples of creative algorithms

Post by droid » January 23rd, 2018, 9:09 am

Nice [old] thread and nice thinking for that algorithm.
I've made visual recognition algorithms before, without the bs of CNNs of course. I've also made stepper-motor linear ramping and other control algorithms, very satisfying work. My background is on small microcontrollers, and the mindset you aquire with that helps you find small, efficient solutions by default.

Ada Lovelace was a great pioneer from what I've seen, but definitely the great majority of females want nothing to do with software creation or the abstraction required for it. Just look at any Linux conference or anything of the sort, mostly sausagefests.

Another exception I was thinking of is Sophie Wilson from ARM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophie_Wilson

But, turns out she is transgender, go figure.

Other than that you may see trolling stuff like this girl, but nothing serious:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_q ... one+giertz

1)Too much of one thing defeats the purpose.
2)Everybody is full of it. What's your hypocrisy?

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