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Data Structures and Algorithms Using Python Paperback – 28 Jan 2011
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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.
- 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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Top Customer Reviews
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
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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).
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.
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.
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.
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