Now Calculating … The Famous Algorithms Quiz

By: Bambi Turner

Now Calculating … The Famous Algorithms Quiz
Image: Mana Vatsyayana/Getty

About This Quiz

Algorithms bring order to chaos, providing a clear path to accomplish a task, with applications far beyond math and computer science. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the famous algorithms that shape our world.
Which of the following algorithms sorts a list of data by first dividing it in half?
bubble
binary
A binary search algorithm sorts by dividing a list in half, while a linear algorithm sorts the list one item at a time.
linear

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What is another name for a bin sort?
bubble
merge
bucket
A bin, or bucket function, sorts numbers into buckets, then gathers them back together in order.

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A merge sort works by joining two unrelated lists, then separating them once again.
TRUE
FALSE
A merge algorithm divides an unsorted array into two equal lists, then recombines then so that the entire list is in order.

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Hashing is a type of sorting algorithm.
TRUE
FALSE
Hashing is used in encryption and serves as a way to create a hard-to-crack summary of a given number or value.

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What is the Doomsday algorithm used for?
determining the day of the week
The Doomsday algorithm allows you to quickly and easily determine what day of the week a given date took place on.
determining when the world will end
determining when a given amount of money will run out

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What is Google's famous search algorithm called?
PageRank
PageRank, which Google searches are based on, started as a research project by two Ph.D. candidates at Stanford.
Googolplex
Apple

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PageRank is named after the pages it ranks during a search.
TRUE
FALSE
PageRank is named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. The algorithm determines search rank based on things like the number and importance of backlinks.

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What was the name of Google's infamous algorithm update in 2011?
Panda
The Panda algorithm update was designed to lower the rank of poor-quality sites during a Google search.
Polar
Calico

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What name did Google give its major 2012 algorithm update?
Polar
Seal
Penguin
The 2012 Penguin update was designed to penalize "black hat" techniques by web designers.

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What does cRTP stand for?
Compressed Real-Time Protocol
Cisco's Compressed Real-Time Protocol is used to compress data into smaller packages.
Continuous Revolution Timed Planning
Compressed Repetition Timing Protocol

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What is the MP3 algorithm used to do?
compress video files
compress music files
MP3 compresses music and was created in 1992. Its creator used Suzanne Vega's acapella version of "Tom's Diner" while creating the algorithm.
neither

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How much does MP3 compress sound?
by a factor of 2
by a factor of 6
by a factor of 12
MP3 compresses sound by a factor of 12 without degrading sound quality.

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SUITE B is a cryptography algorithm used by the NSA.
TRUE
The SUITE B algorithm allows users to share encrypted data quickly and safely.
FALSE

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How many items are sorted at once during a bubble sort?
none
two
A bubble function sorts data or numbers two at a time in order, so that only the most recent two items on the list are in play at any one time.
four

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What is IBM's CRUSH algorithm used for?
agriculture
accounting
crime fighting
The Criminal Reduction Utilizing Statistical History, or CRUSH algorithm, reduced violent crime in Memphis by 15 percent from 2006 to 2010.

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What does Dijkstra's algorithm do?
find the shortest path between two nodes
Dijkstra's algorithm finds the shortest path between two nodes, or points.
multiply large numbers very quickly
find the greatest common divisor between two numbers

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A* is an improvement upon Dijkstra's algorithm.
TRUE
The A* algorithm is a more elegant improvement upon Dijkstra's algorithm when finding the shortest path between two points.
FALSE

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What was the first song to use the Auto-Tune algorithm?
"One More Time" by Britney Spears
"Baby" by Justin Bieber
"Believe" by Cher
The 1998 "Believe" relied heavily on Auto-Tune, an algorithm inspired by those used to study seismic activity.

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A shell sort is a type of insertion sort.
TRUE
A shell sort is a form of insertion sort where elements cover gaps of several positions as they are sorted.
FALSE

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When did Euclid draft his "Elements?"
3,000 B.C.E.
300 B.C.E.
Greek scholar Euclid published one of the first known algorithms in his "Elements" in 300 B.C.E.
300 C.E.

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What does the Euclidean algorithm help us find?
square root
greatest common divisor
The Euclidean algorithm is used to find the greatest common divisor between two points by dividing and calculating remainders.
shortest path between points

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What is the Karatsuba algorithm used for?
multiplication
The Karatsuba algorithm is used to multiply large numbers very quickly.
compression
sorting

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What does RANSAC stand for?
Random Sample Consensus
RANSAC, or Random Sample Consensus, is used to estimate data sets that contain outliers.
Random Sample Compression
Random Sound Cancellation

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RSA encryption is named for its creators.
TRUE
RSA is named for Rivest, Shamir and Adleman, who created this widely-used cryptography algorithm in 1977.
FALSE

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The TCP/IP algorithm was critical in the creation of the Internet.
TRUE
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol played a critical role in the creation and implementation of the Internet.
FALSE

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Which of the following is used to control traffic congestion on TCP/IP?
Naple's algorithm
Nagle's algorithm
Nagle's algorithm controls traffic congestion on a network by limiting the size of the TCP.
Nala's algorithm

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FFT stands for Fast Fourier Transform.
TRUE
FFT, or Fast Fourier Transform, is one of the most important algorithms of the 20th century.
FALSE

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Quick sort is actually one of the longest and time-consuming sorting algorithms.
TRUE
FALSE
Quick sort, which sorts by dividing data into smaller sublists before merging the lists back together, is one of the fastest sorting algorithms, but is relatively unstable.

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Which of the following is key to the Naïve Bays algorithm?
compression
independence
Naïve Bays is a group of algorithms in which every element is assumed to be completely independent of every other element.
speed

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Ada Lovelace wrote the first computer algorithm way back in the middle of the 19th century.
TRUE
The young Mrs. Lovelace — daughter of Lord Byron — wrote the first computer algorithm for computer-creator Charles Babbage back in the 19th century, at a time when women were discouraged from such pursuits.
FALSE

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You Got:
/30
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