Algorithms bring order to chaos, providing a clear path to accomplish a task, with applications far beyond math and computer science. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the famous algorithms that shape our world.
A binary search algorithm sorts by dividing a list in half, while a linear algorithm sorts the list one item at a time.
A bin, or bucket function, sorts numbers into buckets, then gathers them back together in order.
A merge algorithm divides an unsorted array into two equal lists, then recombines then so that the entire list is in order.
Hashing is used in encryption and serves as a way to create a hard-to-crack summary of a given number or value.
The Doomsday algorithm allows you to quickly and easily determine what day of the week a given date took place on.
PageRank, which Google searches are based on, started as a research project by two Ph.D. candidates at Stanford.
PageRank is named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. The algorithm determines search rank based on things like the number and importance of backlinks.
The Panda algorithm update was designed to lower the rank of poor-quality sites during a Google search.
The 2012 Penguin update was designed to penalize "black hat" techniques by web designers.
Cisco's Compressed Real-Time Protocol is used to compress data into smaller packages.
MP3 compresses music and was created in 1992. Its creator used Suzanne Vega's acapella version of "Tom's Diner" while creating the algorithm.
MP3 compresses sound by a factor of 12 without degrading sound quality.
The SUITE B algorithm allows users to share encrypted data quickly and safely.
A bubble function sorts data or numbers two at a time in order, so that only the most recent two items on the list are in play at any one time.
The Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History, or CRUSH algorithm, reduced violent crime in Memphis by 15 percent from 2006 to 2010.
Dijkstra's algorithm finds the shortest path between two nodes, or points.
The A* algorithm is a more elegant improvement upon Dijkstra's algorithm when finding the shortest path between two points.
The 1998 "Believe" relied heavily on Auto-Tune, an algorithm inspired by those used to study seismic activity.
A shell sort is a form of insertion sort where elements cover gaps of several positions as they are sorted.
Greek scholar Euclid published one of the first known algorithms in his "Elements" in 300 B.C.E.
The Euclidean algorithm is used to find the greatest common divisor between two points by dividing and calculating remainders.
The Karatsuba algorithm is used to multiply large numbers very quickly.
RANSAC, or Random Sample Consensus, is used to estimate data sets that contain outliers.
RSA is named for Rivest, Shamir and Adleman, who created this widely-used cryptography algorithm in 1977.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol played a critical role in the creation and implementation of the Internet.
Nagle's algorithm controls traffic congestion on a network by limiting the size of the TCP.
FFT, or Fast Fourier Transform, is one of the most important algorithms of the 20th century.
Quick sort, which sorts by dividing data into smaller sublists before merging the lists back together, is one of the fastest sorting algorithms, but is relatively unstable.
Naïve Bays is a group of algorithms in which every element is assumed to be completely independent of every other element.
The young Mrs. Lovelace — daughter of Lord Byron — wrote the first computer algorithm for computer-creator Charles Babbage back in the 19th century, at a time when women were discouraged from such pursuits.