Segments in this Video

The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms: Introduction (01:53)


Algorithms have become essential to modern life yet we tend to take them for granted. Professor Marcus du Sautoy will reveal his favorite algorithms, their past, their present, and their future.

Face Detection Algorithm (03:16)

Sautoy explains how this algorithm helps keep faces in a photo in focus. Students play a mathematical game. Sautoy explains the algorithm that helped him win.

Euclid's Algorithm (03:16)

Algorithms predate computers by thousands of years. Euclid's algorithm is a method for finding the greatest common divisor. Sautoy applies the algorithm to a tiling problem.

Page Rank (02:07)

Algorithms are general solutions to problems. In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a search engine which became Google.

Secret behind Page Rank (03:10)

Learn how Page Rank works by using its algorithm to rank athletes. Google handles nearly 4 billion searches every day.

Algorithms and Technology (03:50)

Using algorithms is a matter of following instructions; computer code makes an algorithm specific. Sautoy discusses sorting algorithms and how they work on the Internet, and demonstrates Bubble Sort.

Merge Sort (04:30)

John von Neumann invented a sorting algorithm designed to work on one of the earliest computers. Sautoy demonstrates how it works by "dividing and conquering" and compares it to Bubble Sort. Experts identify 20 sorting algorithms.

Matching Algorithms (02:45)

Online dating services use a matching algorithm. In 2012, Lloyd Shapley received a Nobel Prize because of a matching algorithm he created with David Gale. Sautoy introduces the Stable Marriage Problem.

Stable Marriage Problem (02:31)

Sautoy demonstrates several rounds of the algorithm using playing cards. Institutions around the world use the Gale-Shapley algorithm.

Donor Matching (04:59)

Rachel Johnson and David Manlove worked to create a kidney matching algorithm that considers several scenarios. The algorithm has helped save the lives of over 400 people.

Efficient Algorithms (03:49)

It is important for an algorithm to be correct and run quickly, but algorithms cannot solve all problems. Sautoy considers if a Rubik's Cube, drafts, or Sudoku can be solved with an algorithm.

Traveling Salesman Problem (02:37)

The Clay Mathematics Institute offered $1 million to anyone who could create an efficient algorithm, or prove that none existed, to solve the problem. Sautoy demonstrates the problem of calculating the shortest possible route between cities.

Nature's Algorithm? (03:47)

Scientists study how bumblebees forage for nectar in an attempt to identify an efficient algorithm for the traveling salesman problem.

Flight Management (04:38)

Experts used a heuristics approach to create an algorithm for Heathrow Airport. Experts discuss the order of take-off and how the algorithm works.

Algorithmic Revolution? (03:52)

Scientists at Microsoft Research use new techniques create algorithms. Sautoy demonstrates the connect skeletal tracking algorithm developed for the Xbox console. Jamie Shotton explains how the algorithm was created.

Machine Learning Algorithm Applications (03:12)

An algorithm can identify and map a brain tumor in 3D from an MRI scan. Prof. Chris Bishop wants to create algorithms that can learn from experience; see a demonstration.

Automated Grocery Warehouse (03:29)

Algorithms control activities in the Accardo warehouse. Technology Director Paul Clarke explains how the system operates and Sautoy identifies the algorithms at work.

Credits: The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms (00:45)

Credits: The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms

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The Secret Rules of Modern Living: Algorithms

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



In this program, Professor Marcus du Sautoy lifts the veil on algorithms that touch our lives every day; most of us are unaware of their extraordinary impact. The expansion in the use of algorithms has coincided with the computer age and the collation of big data. We focus on the most interesting and surprising examples which represent different categories of algorithms and look into the historical example of Euclid’s Algorithm from two and half thousand years ago; the modern godfather of algorithms could only be Alan Turing. Marcus will explore how math is being used to solve real world problems and even make life and death decisions. 

Length: 59 minutes

Item#: BVL114431

ISBN: 978-1-68272-797-3

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.