The Top Ten Algorithms
Scientific Computing Seminar
Fall 2015

TTA_2015 is the home page for "The Top Ten Algorithms", a 1-credit seminar class offered by the Department of Scientific Computing at Florida State University, Fall Session 2015.

Undergraduates should register for this class as: ISC4932: Senior Seminar in Scientific Computing, and graduate students should register for this class as: ISC5939: Advanced Graduate Seminar in Scientific Computing.

This 1-credit seminar focusses on algorithms. At one time, algorithms were thought of simply as procedures for computing numerical results, such as square roots. Now, algorithms can recognize faces, recommend a movie, predict a crime wave, or set up a price schedule for seats on an airline flight.

Each week, we will:

At the end of the semester, each student will submit a document describing an algorithm that should be considered for the final Top Ten List. We will vote for our favorites, and prepare a "Top Ten Algorithms" poster to be printed out and hung in room 499.

The course is inspired by the Dongarra/Sullivan list of the top ten algorithms that appeared in the January-February 2000 issue of the magazine "Computing in Science and Engineering", and by the book "9 Algorithms That Changed the Future" by John MacCormick.

Nick Berry works at Facebook as a data scientist, and produces a short fascinating online articles about computing, simulation, and puzzles, at

Brian Hayes is a columnist for the journal "American Scientist". He has a series of articles on computing, including many discussions of algorithms. Go to, and then under the "About" menu item, select "publications" to see any of his articles.

Stephen Skiena, author of "The Algorithm Design Book", maintains a corresponding website, the Stony Book Algorithm Repository, which lists lectures, slides, implementations of algorithms in many languages, lists algorithmic data structures, problems in numerics, combinatorics, graph theory, computational geometry, sets and strings.

Last revised on 22 August 2015.