[Tutor] Fwd: Finding the max value from a dictionary that does not exceed a variable's value.

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Mon Feb 1 18:46:52 EST 2016

On Mon, Feb 01, 2016 at 12:00:47PM -0800, Danny Yoo wrote:
> Here's a response I sent to Srinivas yesterday to further explain why
> a balanced binary tree is probably overkill for the "largest
> denomination" selection problem.  (I didn't realize that I had not
> sent the following to the list.)
> So there are several crazy avenues we can take to over-optimize this
> problem.  Just to make it clear: I think sticking to a simple linear
> scan makes the most sense.  Everything else just seems to try to make
> the problem harder than it deserves to be, akin to trying to take the
> size of a rectangle via integration.
> http://homepage.usask.ca/~blb230/Math_Comics/Calculus_Comic_files/image001.gif

I'm glad you've forwarded the message to the list, because I love that 
comic. The clever thing is that it actually gets the maths right too. 
Some of the notation is a bit strange compared to what I'm used to 
(I've never seen anyone use a bare integral sign before, with no 
integrand), and I think he skipped a line, but that's definitely one to 



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