Introduction to Algorithms: The Book! Reading assignments!

6 views
Skip to first unread message

Kellbot

unread,
Nov 16, 2009, 12:20:31 PM11/16/09
to NYCResistor: Compsci
In order to really "get" this course you're going to want to have a
copy of the textbook. You may be able to find the behemoth locally at
a college book store. It's also available online for ~$30 shipped at
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1377465535&searchurl=isbn%3D0262032937%26sts%3Dt%26x%3D78%26y%3D18

There's also a rumor of a digital copy floating around. While a
digital copy isn't a great substitute for the book, as you can't
doodle on it and dogear all the pages, it can tide you over while
you're waiting for your hard copy to be delivered. I'll also try to
find a hard copy to keep at the space, and anyone who wants to is
welcome to come use it during craft night (Thursadys 6pm-9pm). There's
also a copy somewhere in the NYPL system, according to their computer.

Here's the first assignment, which is mostly in the scope of what was
covered in the lecture. Read the book (chapters 1-4) and take a stab
at this stuff. If you run into troubles (and don't feel bad if you do)
post them to the list and we can try to sort it out as a group.
http://ocw.mit.edu/NR/rdonlyres/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-046JFall-2005/F23AABAA-AA3F-4816-A987-2C652B41A243/0/ps1.pdf

-Kelly

fishtoprecords

unread,
Nov 16, 2009, 12:28:35 PM11/16/09
to NYCResistor: Compsci
On Nov 16, 12:20 pm, Kellbot <kell...@gmail.com> wrote:
> In order to really "get" this course you're going to want to have a
> copy of the textbook.

So did the folks there IRL talk about the second important thing to
"get" the course: you have to do the homework.

Anyone with a serious interest in professional software needs to have
this book, or one like it, handy forever. I haven't looked through the
book, and I used a different one when I was in grad school. But
analysis of algorithms is something that I do at least a couple of
times a year.

-- pat
oh, by the way, some in NYCresistor know of my alter handle, Dadbot.

Kevin Mark

unread,
Nov 16, 2009, 10:30:10 PM11/16/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
From looking over the first assignment, the video and textbook, there is an
assumtion made about the level of math background of the student. Since there
was not discussion of the difficulty of the lecture, should I assume that
everone there has sufficient math skills for the course? If not, by what means
are folks going to get-up-to-speed to be able to do even the first assignment?

We went over a short video on 'log' math operations, that is something I would
have assumed students knew. And that they didn't, worries me about what can be
picked-up by sheer force of will.

--
| .''`. == Debian GNU/Linux == | http://kevix.myopenid.com |
| : :' : The Universal OS | mysite.verizon.net/kevin.mark/ |
| `. `' http://www.debian.org/ | http://counter.li.org [#238656]|
|___`-____Unless I ask to be CCd, assume I am subscribed _________|

Adam Mayer

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 4:51:55 PM11/17/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
I'm not terribly worried. The math at the outset may seem a little
daunting, but it doesn't get much more involved that what we're seeing
now. I'm pretty sure folks can pick it up on the fly, and if anyone's
needs a bit of help-- well, that's what the list and IRL meetings are
for.

-a

Kellbot

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 4:59:13 PM11/17/09
to NYCResistor: Compsci
The official prerequisites for the course are "Math for Computer
Science" and "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs." Some
of the course materials for these classes are available through
OpenCourseWare, and can be used to self-asses whether one has
sufficient background to get much out of these courses.

Personally, I've had most of the background math but most of it was
5-10 years ago. So while going through the course work I'm referring
to old textbooks and a few online videos to get the rust off my math
gears. I think it is a fair assumption that there are many others in
the same boat.

Part of the reason to do this as a group, rather than sit at home
staring into our computers, is to share resources. As people find
holes in their knowledge (whether because the information has rusted
out or because it was never there) we can trade resources for finding
it. Undoubtedly a few people drop out, but it's up to everyone
individually to decide what they can and cannot pick up on their own.

-Kelly

Laurel Chartow

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 5:05:53 PM11/17/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
Kelly,

Do you think we could arrive early to NYCR before class to go over this week's coursework?

Mike Rugnetta

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 5:16:03 PM11/17/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com

I don't really have much of a sense as to HOW out of date it is, but
for anyone who is interested in doing more Sorting reading I found
Harold Lorin's "Sorting and Sort Systems" to be really readable (not
to mention it has great graphics) when I first started programming.

He talks about insert, exchange/bubble, shell, quicksort, binary
trees, etc etc. It was published in '73, I think and there was a
second edition in '77. So it is not new by any means but it'll run you
about $0.50 online and probably $5 if you can find it in a bookstore
in the city. Can't argue with that.

xo,
-M

-----
: http://www.rheumatictangle.net
: http://www.whatweknowsofar.com

fishtoprecords

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 10:18:43 PM11/17/09
to NYCResistor: Compsci
On Nov 17, 5:16 pm, Mike Rugnetta <mrugne...@gmail.com> wrote:
>         I don't really have much of a sense as to HOW out of date it is, but  
> for anyone who is interested in doing more Sorting reading I found  
> Harold Lorin's "Sorting and Sort Systems" to be really readable (not  
> to mention it has great graphics) when I first started programming.
> . It was published in '73, I think and there was a  
> second edition in '77.

The basics of sorting are key to any course on algorithms, and it
hasn't changed at all in the basics. There may be a few better, newer
algorithms, but the basics, insertion, bubble, radix are still there
and still taught.

fishtoprecords

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 10:26:25 PM11/17/09
to NYCResistor: Compsci
On Nov 16, 10:30 pm, Kevin Mark <kevin.m...@verizon.net> wrote:
> From looking over the first assignment, the video and textbook, there is an
> assumtion made about the level of math background of the student.

There is Math in the topic, mostly limits, a few derivatives., a few
integrals, all should be covered by any solid Calculus class. The
lecture talks a lot about probability, and I haven't seen all the
lectures, but when I took this course in Grad School, it didn't
require much probability. Knowing about a Bernouilli distribution can
come in handy.

As a Math major as an undergraduate, I was appalled at what CS
professors call a "proof" and the first lecture included a classic
example. When he was discussing one of the Theta(N) questions, he said
"Assume N is a power of 2..." which is accepted in CS classes. It
would have gotten you laughed out of the Mathematics department.

Laurel Chartow

unread,
Nov 17, 2009, 10:55:07 PM11/17/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
Can anyone recommend online resources aside from the MIT Open Course Ware and the Khan Academy videos?  I'm going to visit Cambridge this weekend, maybe I can find a copy of the book and study from that, but any additional leads would be helpful too!

Thanks,
Laurel

Dawa Lama

unread,
Nov 18, 2009, 11:33:45 AM11/18/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
Check out http://www.academicearth.org/. They have a collection of videos for those who want to brush up their Math.
--
Dawa L. Sherpa

Kanoelani Pilobello

unread,
Nov 29, 2009, 10:08:00 AM11/29/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
Hi,

I just wanted to verify that we are still meeting today from 5-7pm at Makerbot.  Also, will we discuss the first assignment next week after lecture 4?


Lani

Kelly Farrell

unread,
Nov 29, 2009, 10:18:31 AM11/29/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
Yes and Yes. This week we'll discuss lecture 3 and watch lecture 4.

Kelly Farrell
http://shop.everythingtiny.com/

Laurel Chartow

unread,
Nov 29, 2009, 1:58:13 PM11/29/09
to nycresist...@googlegroups.com
Hi everyone,

Unfortunately I won't be able to make it today to Makerbot :-/ ... work caught up with me.  I will shoot for next week!

Laurel
Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages