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You mean Knuth, the guy whose algorithms ignore the effects of caches?


There is a place for academia and mathematic approaches, and there is a place for real world experience and technical abilities. Ultimately someone who is good at being programmer does need a leavening of academic background, and someone who is a successful academic needs to know something about real computers instead of the academic over-simplified illusory world that contain friction-less pulleys and massless ropes.

The binary heap is not Knuth's algorithm. He just analyzed it in great detail at a time where caches weren't as important as they are now. If Knuth were starting out today, I'm sure he would be interested in cache-aware algorithm analysis.

I really don't think Knuth of all people can be held up as an impractical egghead. Compared to many other academics, he has always maintained a view towards real computers.

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