Math Photo: Sorting Algorithms
One of our end-of-school tasks was breaking down all of our Zometool builds from the past year. When a colleague handed me a bag of several hundred red, blue, and yellow struts, I immediately started to struggle and experiment with the most efficient ways to sort the struts for storage.
Should I take them out of the bag one at a time, placing each in its appropriate pile? Or maybe a handful of ten at a time? Or fifty? Ultimately I settled on dumping them out and sliding them around into color-coordinated piles. I’m not sure of the mathematical justification, but my internal optimizer seemed to think this was the right way to go.