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Problem Solving with Algorithms and Data Structures Using Python Paperback – 28 Nov 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: Franklin, Beedle & Associates Inc; 2nd edition (28 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590282574
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590282571
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 19 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 533,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By IT enthusiast on 19 Oct. 2013
Pros:
* It is free on [...]
* One of the very few books on data structures and algorithms using Python
* Problems have multiple solutions, which are timed and discussed in terms of complexity/cost
* Experiments a made to prove that a given type has certain time complexity

Cons:
* The naming of variables and functions follows Java's style, not Python's style. The correct style is on [...] That teaches newbies the wrong habit and annoys experienced Python developers.
* Big-O notation is defined incorrectly as "Order of magnitude" and called "a useful approximation to the actual number of steps in the computation" in the chapter on Algorithm Analysis. See wikipedia for a correct definition. You can't be teaching algo analysis and give a wrong definition of Big-O.
* Recursion is defined incorrectly - "Recursion is a method of solving problems that involves breaking a problem down into smaller and smaller subproblems until you get to a small enough problem that it can be solved trivially". The above describes "divide and conquer", not "recursion".
* Class definitions follow the syntax for "old-style" classes. Everyone moved to "new-style" classes a long time ago.
* Sometimes even their "best" solution is not very good and/or does not take advantage of existing Python functionality. For example the Anagram Detection Example in the chapter on Algorithm Analysis - the last solution is counting the number of character occurrences by looping. This is inefficient. Just use collections.Counter

Overall it's an OK intro, but not particularly in-depth and the Cons I've listed are serious drawbacks imho.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Use online source 27 April 2013
By Drew A. Verlee - Published on Amazon.com
Its free online and interactive -> [...]

The material in the book is wonderful. But you don't need to purchase it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great 12 Oct. 2013
By Trip - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Extremely clear, and reader-friendly without sacrificing depth and breadth of topics. Covers classic/important cs problems in addition to helping consolidate Python syntax
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Decent Book 30 April 2013
By AbigailB - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I like that this book offers a lot of code for readers, and this book is available online in entirety. However, some of the code has errors. As I understand it, the previous edition had even more errors, so I guess it is an improvement.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Awesome free web-book to teach yourself algorithms 25 Jun. 2014
By Matt P - Published on Amazon.com
I am a self taught Ruby programmer and have had a difficult time teaching myself algorithms. The other textbooks I've tried lost me with formal math notation and difficult to read pseudocode. This book is much more approachable and takes advantage of modern web features to teach the content.

Some code examples can be dynamically modified and run in the browser, video solutions to 'self checks' are embedded in the chapters, and there are also some nice quizzes sprinkled in the chapters.

If you don't have a formal computer science education and want to teach yourself algorithms, I think this is the best place to start, even if you don't know anything about Python.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Great book 8 Dec. 2012
By Alex Tantos - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for people who have had little experience on algorithms and at the same time gives access to more in depth knowledge using Python..
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