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.