Searching for a keyword or value is the basis of many computing applications, whether on an internet search engine or looking up a bank account balance.
This activity explores the main algorithms that are used as the basis for searching on computers, using different variations on the game of battleships.
Activity description (PDF) #
Translations and other versions #
- Chinese language version
- Italian language version
- French language version
- German language version
- Turkish language version
- Greek language version
- Portuguese (Brazil) language version
- Russian language version
- Polish language version
- Hungarian language version
- Slovenian Language Translation
See our video page.
Related Resources #
More lessons and activities #
- Rutgers University Computer Science Department has a binary search activity where students first think how they would search for a song on an MP3 player, and then they learn about binary search.
- The Mathmaniacs web side has a related activity (lesson 8).
- Jeremy Kubica’s Computational Fairy Tales has the following fairy tales/stories that explain the searching algorithms below:
If you want to find out more #
- Wikipedia: Searching Algorithm
- Howstuffworks.com explains the large-scale application of these principles.
- Virginia Tech, Dept of Computer Science has a complete module on Algorithms.
- YouTube Search & Discovery – Computerphile
- Video snippets of various algorithms
- MIT Open Courseware in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science has the following lecture Video: Lecture 9: Binary Search, Bubble and Selection Sorts by Eric Grimson and John Guttag
Additional resources #
- Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel has programmed linear, binary and hashing search in Scratch which can be downloaded in a zip file of the complete set of activities. Please read the
Curriculum Links #
Great Principles of Computer Science #
ACM K12 Curriculum #
- Level I (Grades 3-5) Topic 11: develop a simple understanding of an algorithm