Anyone who’s ever owned socks or done laundry (i.e. all of us) knows what a pain it can be to sort socks.
Socks come up missing, one sock will be weirdly smaller than the other, and two of a kind don’t ever seem to end up in the same load of laundry.
Science to the rescue! In the new book “Algorithms to Live By, computer scientist, Brian Christian, claims to have solved the sock pairing puzzle using techniques of computer science.
“One of the biggest things to do to make some kind of headway is to shrink the size of the problem. So, in this case, we are sub-dividing these socks into these smaller groups which are then much more tractable on their own."
Christian’s proposed solution – a radix sort – sounds complicated but it’s really just a step-by-step procedure to get a specific result. Learn more here!