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Quicksort algorithm

the time-saving algorithm South East,

Room filled with old computer equipment.
Elliot 803 computer, with magnetic tapes on which the dictionary information was stored during the development of Quicksort, in the background. Science Museum / Science & Society

While a visiting student at Moscow State University, Tony Hoare (1934- ) was asked to work on a project for machine translation from Russian to English. However before carrying out any translation he needed to sort the words into alphabetical order so they could be easily matched to already-sorted English-Russian dictionaries.

To do this he invented quicksort, an algorithm that was able to efficiently and quickly arrange items into a specific arrangement e.g. alphabetically or numerically.

Today quicksort is still used to quickly turn massive datasets into ordered information that can be more usefully utilised.

Royal Academy of Engineering

Engineering, Computing,
South East
National Physical Laboratory, Teddington
Key Individuals
Tony Hoare,