MTH 221 Week 2 DQS
Describe a situation in your professional or personal life when recursion, or at least the principle of recursion, played a role in accomplishing a task, such as a large chore that could be decomposed into smaller chunks that were easier to handle separately, but still had the semblance of the overall task. Did you track the completion of this task in any way to ensure that no pieces were left undone, much like an algorithm keeps placeholders to trace a way back from a recursive trajectory? If so, how did you do it? If not, why did you not?
Describe a favorite recreational activity in terms of its iterative components, such as solving a crossword or Sudoku puzzle or playing a game of chess or backgammon. Also, mention any recursive elements that occur.
Using a search engine of your choice, look up the term one-way function. This concept arises in cryptography. Explain this concept in your own words, using the terms learned in Ch. 5 regarding functions and their inverses.
A common result in the analysis of sorting algorithms is that for n elements, the best average-case behavior of any sort algorithm—based solely on comparisons—is O(n log n). How might a sort algorithm beat this average-case behavior based on additional prior knowledge of the data elements? What sort of speed-up might you anticipate for such an algorithm? In other words, does it suddenly become O(n), O(n log n) or something similar?
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