Community Profiles: Allan Egbert
Around 1975, mathematician Jacob Goodman was at home folding towels. When he was done, he noticed that the pile was messy so he decided to rearrange the towels in order of size – smallest towel at the top, biggest at the bottom. But since there was no room for a second pile, he had to flip over the top few towels, reassess the situation, then flip over a few more from the top, and so on. This got him thinking about how many flips he would need in the worst case to rearrange the pile, so he decided to send the question to the American Mathematical Monthly, but instead of towels he used pancakes and that’s how the ‘pancake sorting‘ problem was born.
To this day, no one (not even Bill Gates) was able to solve this algorithmic problem.
If Allan Egbert wasn’t busy developing a recursive classification algorithm that will optimize insurance, he would be focusing on an algorithm to sort pancakes. Because solving a problem requires falling in love with it, and Allan loves pancakes.
Originally from Tallahassee, FL, and currently located in Boston, MA, Allan is the cofounder of Ask Kodiak – insurance’s most electrifying SaaS platform. To recharge, Allan will have one of these protein shakes he recently ordered, and when he wants to wind down, he’ll probably watch Jack Ryan while hoping the show doesn’t share the same fate as Daredevil.