Don,

I know this doesn't directly anwer your question (and
in fact takes the topic further and further away from
Ruby), but a great book on algorithms to have on hand
is Robert Sedgewick's. Its two volumes have been
issued in both C and C++ versions, with rather "geeky"
(clean but non-reader-friendly) code examples, but the
graphical illustrations of searching and sorting
algorithms in the first book are well worth the price
of admission. In fact, if memory serves, those
illustrations have received high praise from Edward
Tufte, who is quite a stickler when it comes to
information representation.

Regards
Ewald Cress

> >> I am begin stymied  by what looks like math but
> is greek to me. For
> >> example, on the first page of the book I am
> reading (The Algorithm
> >> Design Manual, b Steven Skinea), there is this
> description of the
> >> insertion sort algorithm:
> >>
> >> for i = 1 to n - 1 do
> >>     for j = i downto 2 do
> >>         if (A[j] < A[j-1]) then swap(A[j],A[j-1])
> >>