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Algorithms 101

Course Description

What's an algorithm? Besides being the answer to most interview questions, an algorithm is a way to solve a particular problem in programming.

Google Maps uses an algorithm to calculate driving directions through 3 cities while avoiding highways. Amazon uses an algorithm to figure out exactly what product to recommend to you next so that you'll blindly one-click it.

In this workshop, we will discuss what an algorithm is, introduce the idea of algorithmic complexity (big O notation), demonstrate sort and search algorithms (with a hands-on re-enactment), and finish with an overview of the many types of algorithms out there.

This workshop focuses on design-thinking for algorithms, which is a pre-requisite to expressing these ideas in code.


Attendees would benefit from a basic understanding of a programming language, like from JS 101, but that is not required.

Tech requirements:

• Your laptop, if you'd like to follow along with the slides.

Topics covered:

  • Big O notation
  • Hands-on re-enactment of sort and search


  • 10:00 - 10:45 Introduction
  • 10:45 - 1:45 Defining an algorithm, time/space complexity, goal of algorithms
  • 1:45 - 12:00 break
  • 12:00 - 1:00 Sorting and bubble sort
  • 1:00 - 2:00 lunch
  • 2:00 - 3:15 More sorting, searching
  • 3:15 - 3:45 break
  • 3:45 - 4:45 More searching, primes
  • 4:45 - 5:00 Conclusion