Basil & Fabian - A Wizard & His Man

My name is Jamis Buck, and this is my algorithms blog.

Jamis Buck Jamis Buck

Don’t be all scared off because I said “algorithms”, though. It’s kind of non-traditional.

This is a different world, here. Magic is real, for one thing. Things get a bit medieval at times. There are some odd anachronisms, too, but that’s okay, because things are sort of ridiculous here, anyway.

Basil Smockwhitener, wizard and gentleman, will be our host in this odd exploration of algorithms and computer science. He can be a bit clueless, so be gentle. He’s doing his best.

And if his manservant, Fabian, can put up with him, surely anyone can. Right?

I love suggestions!

Seriously. If there is a problem you think Basil could shed some light on, email me and let me know.

I’m @jamis on Twitter, jamis at GitHub, and jamis@jamisbuck.org via email. Don’t be a stranger!

“But, Jamis,” you say. “Why are you doing this?”

That’s a great question, and I ask myself that same one every day.

Learning algorithms can be daunting. Existing textbooks tend to focus on the mechanics and theory of what they’re discussing, but no one seems to be focusing on helping people develop an intuitive feel for why the algorithms work. And without that intuition, even the simple algorithms can feel like black boxes.

I don’t think that’s healthy.

So I’m trying an experiment. Might stories be a more effective way to help us develop a stronger intuition around algorithms? I have a hunch that they might. You’ll have to let me know if you agree.

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Basil & Fabian - A Wizard & His Man by Jamis Buck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.