We definitely don’t have a shortage of methods for generating
normally-distributed random numbers from a source of uniformly-distributed
random numbers. One of such methods is the so called Polar Method, a variation
of the Box-Muller Transform, which I already described before. You might want to take a look at it
before reading this.
This algorithm is named after George Edward Pelham Box and Mervin Edgar Muller,
who published it on a two-page paper in 1958. The idea was not original, though:
it appeared already in the 1934 book Fourier Transforms in the Complex Domain,
by Raymond E. A. C. Paley and Norbert Wiener. Stigler’s
law strikes again!
We don’t know for sure when the Euclidean Algorithm was created nor by whom, but
it was made famous around 300 BC by the Elements – the magnum opus of Greek
mathematician Euclid. Wikipedia describes it as “one of the oldest algorithms in
common use” and Knuth affectionately calls it “the granddaddy of all
This is a repository of more or less random programming things, made for my own
amusement and edification. I don’t know how this will evolve over time (if at
all), but I envision this as a collection of interactive visual explanations of
algorithms and data structures.