Culture, Science, Science and Society, etc.

Sorting algorithms explained through folk dance

Yep, you read that correctly.

This morning, I was introduced to the video below - quick-sort as demonstrated through Hungarian folk dancing.


Hell, even the youtube _comments_ are saner and less nonsensical, so this has GOT to be geeky stuff.

It’s also, of course, a very good, and clear, explanation of what’s going on, for people who find pages like this a little trickier to understand.

For those interested in learning about other sorting algorithms, there are 35 in total, covering bubble-sort, merge-sort, shell-sort, and, well, a bunch of other ones. The channel is available here.

They were all made at Sapientia University, Tirgu Mures (Marosvásárhely), in Romania, as part of a project called Algo-rythmics, which blends art, culture, and technology to enhance computer programming education.  There’s even been a paper written by some of the researchers behind the project:

Zoltan Katai and Laszio Toth (2008)  Technologically and artistically enhanced multi-sensory computer-programming education Teaching and Teacher Education Volume 26, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 244-251

Its abstract says the following (and the full paper is available free to read!):

Over the last decades more and more research has analysed relatively new or rediscovered teaching–learning concepts like blended, hybrid, multi-sensory or technologically enhanced learning. This increased interest in these educational forms can be explained by new exciting discoveries in brain research and cognitive psychology, as well as by the accelerated integration of technology (computers, intranets, internet, etc.) in education. We have investigated how the educationally valuable outcomes of these trends could be implemented in computer-programming education and in what ways this process could be catalysed by arts (dance, music, rhythm, theatrical role-playing). We present a theoretical basis for technologically and artistically enhanced multi-sensory teaching–learning strategies. This work focuses particularly on how dance can be involved in computer science classes.


Happy learning!


There’s also a Facebook page, but it’s pretty sparse.