Most people know about Wikipedia but did you know all of its images are sourced from a giant resource of media, all of it licensed for reuse? Let’s explore Wikimedia Commons to find something you might be able to use in a class you take or teach.

It took 6 clicks to find this animation of an algorithm solving Sudoku that looks like a great opening for my week 8 lecture on algorithms.

Sudoku solved by bactracking.gif from Wikimedia Commons shared under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA license

Start from the main Wikimedia Commons site, looking for the column labeled Content.

Wikimedia Content index by topics

It may take a lot of drilling down, but start with the subject/content area you are interested in. Here is the path to find the example above.

  • I’ll start with Mathematics
  • Then I bet there is something useful in Mathematical Concepts
  • Hmmm, 4 choices. Algorithms are in the news a lot. What’s there?
  • A lot of things. You might notice that for each entry, say for Search Algorithm includes after the link (15 C, 80 F). This tells me at that link I will find another 15 categories and 80 files. Still rather broad.
  • I find here Animations of search algorithms‎ (1 C, 15 F) so I should be close to finding something I can use.
  • And finally, the idea of an algorithm solving Sodoku looks like a way to introduce to my week 8 class:

    Sudoku puzzle solved by a brute force/backtracking algorithm. The algorithm started by filling the first empty cells with the values 1 – 9 until one of them created a valid board and moved on from there backtracking whenever doing this could not create a valid board. Program written in Java.

    Now I need to do some more research on backtracking algorithms… (that’s another extend!)

Tweet your response to @ontarioextend and be sure to include the hashtag #oext278

Don't Want to Tweet Your Response? Really?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *