Data Visualization A sorting algorithm, as visualized by D3.js creator Mike Bostock.

Published on July 2nd, 2014 | by Travis Korte

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Visualizing Famous Algorithms

New York Times graphics editor Mike Bostock has released a new post visualizing a series of well-known algorithms. Bostock, best known as the creator of popular data visualization library D3.js, covers sampling algorithms and demonstrates them applied to Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting; techniques for sorting and shuffling a series of ordered elements; and algorithms that generate mazes. Along the way he treats readers to insights from the visualizations, like how the human retina solves the problem of sampling with its photoreceptor cells and how different web browsers come with very different shuffling algorithms. Bostock writes that the broader goal of his essay is to encourage more code visualization in situations where processes may be difficult to comprehend intuitively.

Take a look.

 

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.



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