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I keep hearing LinkedLists, Binary Tree, etc...  RSS feed

 
Chris Stewart
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Can anyone point me to a site that describes quite well what data structures are? I get a bunch of flak (sp) because I am an IS major, and not a CS major. CS people say things like we won't learn these topics because we're IS. But as far as I understand, these are just data structures. I know that in my next INFO class, we'll discuss data structures and the class after that, we'll go into advanced data structures. Sorry for the rambling.
 
Corey McGlone
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You can do a search on the Internet and find all sorts of information on data structures. I did a quick search and came up with this. It's not huge, but it encompasses the major data structures, such as linked lists, stacks, queues, and binary search trees. I'm sure you can find lots more.
Data structures are nothing more than objects defined to hold data. Often, you'll create objects to do something with data but a data structure simply holds and allows you to retrieve data. Most often, the contanier doesn't know, nor care about, what it contains.
As far as getting flak, I'd chalk that one up to everyone's bias that "their major is the best." I used to go back and forth with a girl (who is now my wife) as to which was more important - CS or EE - rather a silly conversation, but we had it nonetheless.
If you do any amount of programming whatsoever, I'm sure you'll learn about data structures eventually - they're very important to almost any algorithm.
I hope that helps,
Corey
 
Chris Stewart
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Thanks for your reply. I'll take a look over that link.
I use the ArrayList and HashMap utils all the time in my development projects. I just haven't had a need for any other data structure as of yet.
 
Layne Lund
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Corey:
I sure hope you told her that CS is the only way to go
Chris:
All joking aside, data structures are an important topic to any programmer. I'm sure you will learn about them even as an IS major.
 
Chris Stewart
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Yeah, I know two of my upcoming classes are devoted to data structures and algorithms. I've been told my curriculum isn't a typical MIS rundown. Mine is more like CIS than anything else. They just call it Information Systems though.
 
Dirk Schreckmann
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Data Structures and Algorithms with Object-Oriented Design Patterns in Java by Bruno Preiss is available free on-line and is a decent introduction to the topic that's worth reading.
David Eck's Introduction to Programming Using Java provides nice, simple, clear, short explanations of introductory data structure concepts. (Look towards the later chapters.)
Also, don't miss The Collections Trail of Sun's Java Tutorial and Thomas' four part series of articles in The JavaRanch Newsletter.
 
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