Algorithms, IKEA-style

by Joey deVilla on April 17, 2018

Illustration: Quicksort algorithm, illustrated in the style of IKEA furniture assembly instructions.

Click the image to see it at full size.

IDEA is a site that takes those things you should’ve learned in your sophomore year “Algorithms and Data Structures” course (or, if you didn’t major in computer science, the things you’ll pick up if you’re inquisitive) and turns them into illustrations that look like IKEA furniture assembly instructions.

Illustration: Ad-hoc, depth-first, and breadth-first graph search algorithms, illustrated in the style of IKEA furniture assembly instructions.

Click the image to see it at full size.

The explanations of algorithms are so much like IKEA instructions, right down to the point that while they give you a general idea of what to do, you may find yourself wishing that they’d thrown in a sentence or two, just to make things clearer.

Illustration: Public-key cryptography, illustrated in the style of IKEA furniture assembly instructions.

Click the image to see it at full size.

Here’s how the creators describe their work:

IDEA is a series of nonverbal algorithm assembly instructions by Sándor P. FeketeSebastian Morr, and Sebastian Stiller. They were originally created for Sándor’s algorithms and datastructures lecture at TU Braunschweig, but we hope they will be useful in all sorts of context. We publish them here so that they can be used by teachers, students, and curious people alike.

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