Saturday, October 18, 2008

so that's where algorithims come from... (hint: not storks)

This discussion started innocently enough, but quickly became one of those chin-stroking affairs that appear in reddit comments every now and then, warming my heart:

> the concept of an algorithm

Really? Do you know of an Arabic or Indian algorithm that pre-dates Euclid's (Greek, of course) algorithm for computing greatest common divisors? That's from about 300 BC and I was always taught that this was the first known example of an algorithm found in history. I'd be very interested to hear if this is not actually the case.

Copying and pasting the response here wouldn't really do it justice. See it in context. Careful, you're about to become smarter.

Thanks, reddit...