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Well, here's something to think about: is it possible that sorting some data could have improved the performance of your code? Here is an example that my adviser used when he last taught algorithms at the undergrad level:

Given three arrays of integers, determine if it is possible to take a sum of three integers, one from each array, that equals a target value (say, 0).

It is not immediately obvious, but sorting the arrays will allow you to solve the problem much faster (whether or not this is the fastest solution possible is actually an open question). This problem has connections to several computational geometry problems, and I have heard that variations of it come up in certain real-world applications.

Also, there is more to algorithms than just sorting.




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