About this book
This gentle introduction to programming and algorithms has been designed as a first course for undergraduates, and requires no prior knowledge.
Divided into two parts the first covers programming basic tasks using Java. The fundamental notions of variables, expressions, assignments with type checking are looked at before moving on to cover the conditional and loop statements that allow programmers to control the instruction workflows. Functions with pass-by-value/pass-by-reference arguments and recursion are explained, followed by a discussion of arrays and data encapsulation using objects.
The second part of the book focuses on data structures and algorithms, describing sequential and bisection search techniques and analysing their efficiency by using complexity analysis. Iterative and recursive sorting algorithms are discussed followed by linked lists and common insertion/deletion/merge operations that can be carried out on these. Abstract data structures are introduced along with how to program these in Java using object-orientation. The book closes with an introduction to more evolved algorithmic tasks that tackle combinatorial optimisation problems.
Exercises are included at the end of each chapter in order for students to practice the concepts learned, and a final section contains an overall exam which allows them to evaluate how well they have assimilated the material covered in the book.