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Data Structures and Algorithms Using Python Paperback – 28 Jan 2011

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

And now for something completely different…

This book is designed for a data structures and algorithms course that uses Python. A key objective is to provide a "back to basics" approach to learning data structures and algorithms without overwhelming the reader with all of the object–oriented programming terminology and concepts. To provide flexibility in topic coverage for a wide variety of courses, the author focuses on data structures and algorithms, while designing the examples to allow the introduction of object–oriented programming if so desired. The book also introduces the concept of algorithm analysis and explores the efficiency of algorithms and data structures throughout the text.

Hallmark Features

  • Provides complete coverage of abstraction and the basic data structures and algorithms using a "back to basics" approach.
  • Python (version 3) used to design and implement classes for abstract data types and programs and algorithms.
  • Flexible organziation allows coverage of class inheritance as needed or desired.
  • Introduces students to the basic array structure and the fundamentals of implementing and using multi–dimensional arrays.
  • The underlying mechanism of many of Python′s built–in data structures and constructs are explored in order to expose the "magic" and to evaluate their efficiency.
  • Sample applications of various chapter topics are presented throughout the text to help engage students.
  • A number of ADTs and applications are presented as threads throughout the text (i.e. the Set, Bag, Matrix, Sparse Matrix, and Map ADTs.) This allows for multiple implementations as new data structures are introduced, which provides the opportunity to reinforce the abstraction concept and for studying algorithm efficiency.


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Format: Paperback
I was shocked to find that there are no reviews for this book since for me it has been an awakening. I'm a second year Comp Sci student and I've been at times lagging behind other since I had no prior experience in programming. I finally managed to trace it to my lack on knowledge of data structures and algorithm. This book will teach you every single structure that counts: Arrays, List, Iterators, Queues, Priority Queues, Stacks, Bags etc. The algorithms span through all the sorting you could ever wish for(radix, quicksort), binary trees traversal.

So let me summarize the pluses:
- very concise explanations and zero small talk from the author
- implementation of every single data structure, very little python library used
- beautiful illustrations, helps comprehensions
- exercices are very interesting( 8 queen problem, mazes, game of life)
- python looks exactly like pseudocode, closest thing to human language as opposed to the ugly mess of C++ for example

I assure you, you will not regret buying this book if you've been recently introduced to programming and need someone to take your hand and explain to you the core concepts
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Edited 25 Nov. 2011
By Aaron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book is well written enough. The various algorithms and concepts are clearly explained and seem appropriate for an inexperienced programmer.

Unfortunately the book is severely handicapped by the complete lack of proofreading in the code examples, none of which were apparently run through an interpreter. Of the 4 or 5 code examples I tried to reproduce every one had multiple typos, variable and object names misspelt, forgetting to assign values, etc. These errors were often severe enough to mask the intent of the code and make the code very difficult to understand.

If these errors were corrected this would be a good book, as it is one is liable to expend more effort debugging the textbook than learning from it. I suspect any programmer skilled enough to debug the textbook code is already advanced enough as to not require its assistance.

Also note the book doesn't follow the official python style guide (not a huge issue, but it would be preferable to follow the industry standard).
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written and rigorous 30 Nov. 2011
By Joao B. De Lima - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been very pleasantly surprised by this book. It is well written, informative and comprehensive. It's also rigorous; not a walk in the park by any means. All together, one of the best Data Structures and Algorithms books I've ever read.

Edit: I originally gave this book 5 stars since the content is indeed excellent. The reason for the downgrade to 4 stars is the number of little errors here and there. While it is true that most (if not all) C.S. books have a large number of typos and errors in general, I don't think we can simply overlook the problem. Also, the book doesn't have a web site where we can submit errata. I tried e-mailing the author directly but the e-mail bounced back.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A decent book, but ... 24 Dec. 2012
By nyceyes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As the other reviewers noted before me, this is a good book. However, it does indeed suffer from typographic and/or illustration errors. Generally speaking, a reader who is trying to learn something -- ostensibly the purpose of this book -- could unnecessarily become distracted and confused as to his or her understanding of things by way of these unnecessary errors and/or omissions.

My copy of this book, in fact, came with a sticker affixed to the inside cover of the front page that states:

Please note: During the printing process, some figures in the text were corrupted and were printed incorrectly.
Please see the errata list and corrected figures at [...]. We apologies for the inconvenience.

Fair enough but, as of this writing, that site doesn't have an Errata section at all. It does, however, have a link for you to
purchase it for a whopping $102.00 USD, and this is not even a hard-cover book.

The books author of the book, an associate professor at William and Mary college, has a website, too: [...]

There is not errata there either, unfortunately.

In this digital, where putting up an errata site is trivial, this is unacceptable... even for cheaper, though still steep
price at Amazon: $61.15

Buyer be ware.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just okay 23 Oct. 2013
By Kate - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I used this book for an algorithms course at college. Everything is well explained and laid out, but the sample code is full of errors. Completing the homework became a test in how well you could proofread code instead of learning about various algorithms and data structures. Often, I would complete the assigned problem quickly, then spend an hour getting it to run because there was an error somewhere in the book's code.

It's unacceptable that many of the samples had fatal errors as written. If it had been run through an interpreter and corrected, this might have been a great book. As it is it's just not that fantastic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very promising book that fails to deliver 29 Mar. 2013
By Marcello Sias - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a great idea and the projects within the book are both ambitious and inspiring. However, the typos in the example code may prove insurmountable for most programmers. Self-motivated learners want to invest their time learning, not figuring out why the example in the book won't work.
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