Barack Obama sorts it all out?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/01/06 10:01 -05:00, original URI:

I guess we all (finally!) know how important collation is if presidential candidates are talking about it (ref: Barack Obama on Sorting Algorithms):

Schmidt: What's the fastest way to sort 32 bit numbers?
Barack: Not bubble-sort.

See the post for the context by which he can be pinned down on a sorting issue!

I found myself quite impressed for the fact that the answer was intelligent and accurate, if underwhelming technically (so perhaps not for a developer job, but we seem to have many such people underfoot!).

Hat tip to Gayle Laakmann


This post brought to you by B (U+0042, aka LATIN CAPITAL LETTER B)

JM on 7 Jan 2008 4:23 AM:

Wow, imagine if presidential candidates were picked on their knowledge of sorting algorithms...

"Clinton has been pushing Quicksort as the answer to everything. But people who want the quick answers to all the complicated problems will find they pay a heavy price. Does she realize that quicksort has *quadratic complexity* in the worst-case?"

"Barack Obama is pulling the wool over the voter's eyes. His "Shell sort" is nothing but a shell-game, that will leave the American voter wondering where the stability of their old order went."

I'd definitely put my money on massively parallel solutions. A thousand points of computation!

Chen on 25 Oct 2008 12:58 AM:

Must admit I have no idea what the question regarding the 32 bit thingamajig means nor what the answer implies. I did google it up but gave up after I had to google 3 more words in the definition I was given. This is all the more sad when u realize I work for a large software company and have written a few emails with subjects that included "32 bit/ 64 bit encryption", lucky for them I'm not a developer.

However I have to say I'm very pleased to hear the next POTUS is smarter then me.

I can only assume that if Bush was asked the same question his answer would have consisted of a long pause accompanied by a dumb look for about 5-7 minutes.

Please consider a donation to keep this archive running, maintained and free of advertising.
Donate €20 or more to receive an offline copy of the whole archive including all images.

referenced by

2011/07/08 Not dumb, but dumb quotes! (aka Sorry Mr. Boehner, this one may be our fault)

2008/02/07 Alphabetical [dis]order?

go to newer or older post, or back to index or month or day