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#1 ray101889  Icon User is offline

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Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 16 April 2010 - 01:39 PM

I am currently taking a data structure class and its very overwhelming. My professor comes in everyday and just explain an algorithm to a program that he assigns to the class. To me this is not teaching. Most of the time I have to teach myself but I don't have the time. I don't know if it just me but it takes along time finish a difficult program plus I have other courses that take up a lot of my time. I'm very curious about how other professors are at other schools. Please tell me how your professor teaches the class? How often does he assign programs? How well are you understanding the material the professor is presenting? Do you have the same problem with managing time that I have? Any answers will be appreciated. thanks
Also, can you mention what school do you go to

This post has been edited by ray101889: 17 April 2010 - 06:50 AM


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Replies To: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

#2 mattlyons  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:35 PM

I am taking a Database Structures and Algorithms class currently. The semester is basically over, only 2 more classes and then the final exam. My teacher is the department chair over CSCI so he is very thorough and explains everything very slow and effectively.

Basically he will take an ADT, such as Linked Lists, Hashing, Binary Trees, etc., and then take a few classes on each. Linked Lists took a while because he would take each of the methods (update, fetch, delete, insert) and walk through each of the algorithms with us and then have us write each one to make sure we know it inside and out and then after that, assign a program that implements that ADT that we are currently on. So far we have had 6 program this semeste; some small and some really big. A big one we had was to make a Twitter app that would log onto Twitter, take the users friends and statuses and display the latest and so on.

I have reall enjoyed this class, but my teacher is the department head for a reason. He is good at what he does. He is a realatively young guy too, early to mid 30s.
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#3 ray101889  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:06 PM

View Postmattlyons, on 16 April 2010 - 03:35 PM, said:

I am taking a Database Structures and Algorithms class currently. The semester is basically over, only 2 more classes and then the final exam. My teacher is the department chair over CSCI so he is very thorough and explains everything very slow and effectively.

Basically he will take an ADT, such as Linked Lists, Hashing, Binary Trees, etc., and then take a few classes on each. Linked Lists took a while because he would take each of the methods (update, fetch, delete, insert) and walk through each of the algorithms with us and then have us write each one to make sure we know it inside and out and then after that, assign a program that implements that ADT that we are currently on. So far we have had 6 program this semeste; some small and some really big. A big one we had was to make a Twitter app that would log onto Twitter, take the users friends and statuses and display the latest and so on.

I have reall enjoyed this class, but my teacher is the department head for a reason. He is good at what he does. He is a realatively young guy too, early to mid 30s.

I am so jealous, Im really starting to hate my school. What college do you go to?
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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:14 PM

sounds like teaching to me. He souldnt be spoon feeding you. He should be explaining the abstract and expect you to implement it. We had one assignment a week minimum. 1 weekly and overlapping multiweek projects.
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#5 ray101889  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 16 April 2010 - 05:38 PM

[quote name='Guest' date='16 April 2010 - 04:14 PM' timestamp='1271463277' post='991932']
sounds like teaching to me. He souldnt be spoon feeding you. He should be explaining the abstract and expect you to implement it. We had one assignment a week minimum. 1 weekly and overlapping multiweek projects.
[/quote
I guess your right, but our whole class is struggling and he keeps moving on. Thanks for answering my questions
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#6 Galois  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:49 PM

View Postray101889, on 16 April 2010 - 12:39 PM, said:

My professor comes in everyday and just explain an algorithm to a program that he assigns to the class. To me this is not teaching.


That is teaching. Now, I don't know how it is at regular schools, but at strong universities you are expected to be able to teach most of the material to yourself. In fact, before you come to the class that teaches some topic, you are expected to have already read about that topic from a textbook or any other resource you find helpful. Professor will go over the stuff, but he will present it in a more general, less rigorous way and let you fill in the blanks. Basically, professor is there to present a different perspective, point out common pitfalls, and add some additional information not found in the textbook.

Do I understand everything that's being presented? Yea, it's not very hard. Applying the knowledge to solve problems, on the other hand, can get very challenging.
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#7 nooblet  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:34 AM

I haven't taken this course yet but of all the programming courses I have taken, my professors are very thorough (at least in my opinion). Some of my courses have 1000+ students in a lecture so it's probably in everyone's best interest that the material is clear. I'm unsure of the teaching style your professor expresses but hopefully the algorithm he explains makes sense. That's all that is needed for you to apply to the problems.

This post has been edited by nooblet: 17 April 2010 - 12:34 AM

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#8 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 17 April 2010 - 11:03 AM

I know someone who teaches data structures at a local community college. What she does at the beginning of the semester is bombard the class with basic terminology. She figures that those who already have some level of competency will just sleep through it, those who are motivated will learn it, and those that can't grasp the concepts or are too lazy will have time to drop the class and get a refund.

Honestly, in all my programming classes, I've fallen into the first category. However, in my AP CS class, all the students fall into the first two categories, and everyone could realistically pull out a 5. The only time the rest of my class struggled was in the sorting unit, for reasons as you described.
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#9 W3bDev  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:47 AM

I am taking Data Structures and Algorithms currently, Java based. Pretty advanced thinking for someone who hasn't programmed yet. Although my university has several prereq's for this, to try and eliminate some headaches, although there are some who are having difficulty with the material. Similar experience to a Software Engineering related course though.

There are some professors that tend to spoon feed, but at my university, its really only at the intro levels, a data structures class, is usually an upper division requirement 300-400.
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#10 robob686  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 19 April 2010 - 01:06 PM

I have had two data structures classes (one in Java and one in C++) and they were really code intensive and challenging. That's the way they should be because data structures are the backbone of any software engineering job. Usually, when we got an assignment, I would take a day or two to try and figure out how to implement it (research on the internet was most of this). Then I would just code a lot. College professors, like was said before, are there to go over what they can in the classroom, and you are expected to learn the material on your own. Read the text book, look for simple code examples online (not the project or assignment), and ask the professor or classmates if you are having trouble. This has helped me through college so far...
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#11 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 19 April 2010 - 06:15 PM

View PostW3bDev, on 19 April 2010 - 09:47 AM, said:

a data structures class, is usually an upper division requirement 300-400.


From what I've seen in CS curricula, there is a basic data structures course at the 200 level covering basic structures like Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues, Heaps, Trees, and Graphs. From there, the 300-400 level data structure classes cover more specific implementations of each structure (ie., B* tree, space partitioning tree, propositional directed acyclic graph, etc.) and more advanced algorithms.
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#12 W3bDev  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:58 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 19 April 2010 - 05:15 PM, said:

From what I've seen in CS curricula, there is a basic data structures course at the 200 level covering basic structures like Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues, Heaps, Trees, and Graphs. From there, the 300-400 level data structure classes cover more specific implementations of each structure (ie., B* tree, space partitioning tree, propositional directed acyclic graph, etc.) and more advanced algorithms.


I would agree with that... Although my Software Engineering course covered all the basic structures, and thus a lower division wasn't required.
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#13 mattlyons  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 21 April 2010 - 11:43 PM

View Postray101889, on 16 April 2010 - 04:06 PM, said:

View Postmattlyons, on 16 April 2010 - 03:35 PM, said:

I am taking a Database Structures and Algorithms class currently. The semester is basically over, only 2 more classes and then the final exam. My teacher is the department chair over CSCI so he is very thorough and explains everything very slow and effectively.

Basically he will take an ADT, such as Linked Lists, Hashing, Binary Trees, etc., and then take a few classes on each. Linked Lists took a while because he would take each of the methods (update, fetch, delete, insert) and walk through each of the algorithms with us and then have us write each one to make sure we know it inside and out and then after that, assign a program that implements that ADT that we are currently on. So far we have had 6 program this semeste; some small and some really big. A big one we had was to make a Twitter app that would log onto Twitter, take the users friends and statuses and display the latest and so on.

I have reall enjoyed this class, but my teacher is the department head for a reason. He is good at what he does. He is a realatively young guy too, early to mid 30s.

I am so jealous, Im really starting to hate my school. What college do you go to?


I attend College of Charleston in South Carolina.
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#14 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Anybody taking an Data Structures class?

Posted 25 April 2010 - 10:07 PM

View PostW3bDev, on 20 April 2010 - 12:58 PM, said:

I would agree with that... Although my Software Engineering course covered all the basic structures, and thus a lower division wasn't required.


Same here. I've done enough self-study on the basic structures like Linked Lists, Stacks, Queues, Sets, and Maps with some on Trees and Graphs to get through most of data structures. Plus, I'll have Discrete Math next year, so I'll really get the opportunity to hit hard on Graph and Tree algorithms. That will be more than enough to allow me to place out of Data Structures I in college.
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