Sorting Algorithms Are Mesmerising When Visualised

If you’re under the impression that something as simple as sorting numbers is dull, think again. This visualisation lets you see and hear 15 different algorithms sift their way through a jumbled mess of data — and it’s truly mesmerising.

The video shows the process — and matched “audibilisation” — of 15 different sorting algorithms dreamt up by computer scientists. While they all use different approaches, like divide and conquer or comparison sorting, they all have one fundamental aim: to sort random shuffles of integers into order.

If you’re really keen to geek out, the featured sorting techniques are, in order of appearance: selection sort, insertion sort, quick sort, merge sort, heap sort, radix sort (LSD), radix sort (MSD), std::sort (intro sort), std::stable_sort (adaptive merge sort), shell sort, bubble sort, cocktail shaker sort, gnome sort, bitonic sort and bogo sort.

But, really, it’s worth just watching them flash by — and taking a moment to think about how smart the guys that originally developed these things are. [YouTube via Reddit]