Spring 2018 Data Structures Prep

It is no secret that CSE 2341 – Data Structures – is a very demanding course.   The course requires a great deal of dedication and perseverance.  I have received a few requests about what to do over winter break in terms of review and prep.  This blog post has some suggestions and links to possibly useful info.

The pre-requisites for Data Structures are CSE 1342 and CSE 2353.  Here are some topics that are particularly important:

  • Developing algorithms using fundamental control structures (ifs, loops, etc.)
  • Problem decomposition (breaking a problem down into steps to solve it)
  • Object oriented programming in C++ (classes, inheritance, and polymorphism in c++) including operator overloading
  • Pointers (what they are, how to use them, etc.) including pointers to pointers and arrays of pointers
  • Relationship between pointers and arrays
  • Memory management is a biggie, so I’ll break it down into finer points
    • Dynamic Memory Allocation and deallocation (new, new[], delete, and delete[])
    • What methods you should explicitly include in a class that contains dynamic memory (copy c’tor, overloaded operator =, destructor)
    • Difference between stack and heap (free store)

The best way to get better at programming (which is what trips up a lot of students in 2341) is to do more of it.  Write a little program to average your grades.  Write a program to calculate the odds of your fantasy football team doing well.  Rewrite some of your programs from 1342 without looking at the solutions.  Code, code, code.

Now, for some resources to review.  Please note:  I’m not requiring or even suggestion that you need to go through all of the links below.  Peruse them, focus on things that look less familiar (but that you’ve seen once or twice).  Use your “gut” to know if you should keep doing down a particular path or move on to something else.

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