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Analyzing Big-O Notation in Polyglot Notebooks

Matt Eland brings me back to college:

Polyglot Notebooks is a great way of running interactive code experiments mixed together with rich markdown documentation.

In this short article I want to introduce you to the #!time magic command and show you how you can easily measure the execution time of a block of code.

This can be helpful for understanding the rough performance characteristics of a block of code inside of your Polyglot Notebook.

In fact, we’ll use this to explore the programming concepts behind Big O notation and how code performance changes based on the number of items.

I like this for two reasons. First, because a visual indicator of Big-O notation is helpful for students learning about the topic. Second, because that’s not the only thing you can do with the #time magic.