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Cambridge, Massachusetts

Your code works. But it has to run 10X faster. What do you do?

It is well understood that the choice of key algorithms can change the performance of an application by a factor of two, ten – even a hundred or more! Now - what does this mean to you?

Programmers often don't see the connection between a "faintly understood" algorithm they remember seeing once in an undergraduate class and a specific programming problem they are facing.

George Heineman addresses this in his book Algorithms in a Nutshell, which is the foundation of this seminar. One of the goals of the book was to present algorithms to practitioners "using their language", rather than a more traditional CS approach that involves theorems, proofs, pseudo-code and analytic functions. Towards this end the book includes six chapters with full code solutions available for free download. George notes “I was pleasantly surprised when the book was done to see that we had about 80,000 lines of commented code in Java, C, and C++ to support the book. Plus nearly 300 JUnit test cases to ensure over 90% coverage of the Java code.”

This seminar covers key topics including:

* Sorting

* Searching

* Graphs

* Path Finding in AI

* Computational Geometry

* Network Flow Algorithms

* When All Else Fails

George Heineman will present 30+ algorithms, each in an appropriate context to help your understanding. For example, there is no "Best" sorting algorithm – but, if you know specific information about your data being sorted, then specific algorithms should be used because of a designed "sweet spot".

While there is a lot of material to cover, the goal is not to present all algorithms in a whirlwind. Rather the common solutions will be presented:

* Appropriate data structure use

* Divide and conquer

* Dynamic programming

* Design tradeoffs for time vs. space

Each section is motivated by a family of problems to be solved. Based on the problem, specific techniques are appropriate, and can be clearly presented. The tutorials focus on "just enough mathematics" (as the book does) to ensure that the information remains accessible.

The goal is to show how specific algorithms provide encode optimal solutions to specific problems you are likely to face. We will describe the algorithms in the language that you are using (Java/C++, etc...) rather than present the more traditional theoretic introduction. A closely related goal is to reinforce that the practitioner must devise appropriate test cases to validate the algorithms within the context where they are used.

This seminar is a joint production of the Greater Boston Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery

and the Boston Chapter of the IEEE Computer Society.

Official Website: http://www.gbcacm.org/b2b/algorithms2009/

Added by gbcacmwebmaster on March 30, 2009