Finding the Maximum Element in a List

Given:

```
a = [12, 15, 2, 80, 40]
```

## Method 1: Using the `max()`

Function

```
mx = max(a)
print("max =", mx)
# max= 80
```

This method finds the first largest element.

**Time Complexity:** O(n)

## Method 2: Using the `sort()`

Method

Sort the list in ascending order and print the last element in the list.

```
a.sort()
print("max =", a[-1])
# max= 80
```

This method prints the last largest element.

**Time Complexity:** O(n log n)

## Method 3: Using a `for`

Loop

Traverse all elements of the array one by one in a loop. If the current element of the array is greater than the previous largest element (stored in the variable `mx`

), store the new value of the largest element in `mx`

.

### Option 1

```
mx = a[0]
for x in a:
if x > mx:
mx = x
print("max =", mx)
# max= 80
```

`if a[i] > mx:`

finds the first largest element.

`if a[i] >= mx:`

finds the last largest element.

**Time Complexity:** O(n)

### Option 2

```
mx = a[0]
for i in range(len(a)):
if a[i] > mx:
mx = a[i]
print("max =", mx)
# max= 80
```

`if a[i] > mx:`

finds the first largest element.

`if a[i] >= mx:`

finds the last largest element.

**Time Complexity:** O(n)

You can also find the smallest element in the list using the given methods by utilizing the `min()`

function, `sort()`

function, or a `for`

loop.