General Meeting Presentation

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rod Stephens

Algorithms 101

Rod Stephens

Many people believe that algorithms are magical creations anointed by famous developers of yore. In fact, an algorithm is simply a recipe for doing something useful on a computer. In this talk, algorithm expert Rod Stephens demystifies some of his favorite algorithms. Using intuitive concepts (without a lot of math), he’ll explain:

  • Quicksort (The most commonly used sorting algorithm)
  • B-trees (Which databases use to manage indexes)
  • Shortest path algorithms (Similar to the ones used by Google Maps. Maybe. They’re not telling.)
  • The police donut routing problem (Sometimes called the traveling salesman problem.)
  • The booty division problem (Sometimes called the partition problem.)
  • Other algorithms if time permits
Rod Stephens started out as a mathematician, but while studying at MIT, discovered how much fun programming is and has been programming professionally ever since. During his career, he has worked on an eclectic assortment of applications in such fields as telephone switching, billing, repair dispatching, tax processing, wastewater treatment, concert ticket sales, cartography, and training for professional football players.

Rod has been a Microsoft Visual Basic Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for more than 12 years and has taught introductory programming. He has written 28 books that have been translated into languages from all over the world, and more than 250 magazine articles mostly covering Visual Basic, C#, Visual Basic for Applications, Delphi, and Java.

Rod’s popular VB Helper web site ( receives several million hits per month and contains thousands of pages of tips, tricks, and example programs for Visual Basic programmers, as well as example code for this book. His C# Helper web site ( contains similar material for C# programmers.

You can contact Rod at Rod Stephens at C# Helper or Rod Stephens at VB Helper.