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Introduction to Data Structures

Data Structures

A data structure is a way of storing data in an organized way that allows the data to be used efficiently.

There are several basic operations that are supported by many data structures:

Arrays are the only data structure that is built into C++ (and Java).

In this class, we will learn how to build many others!

There are two main reasons to use particular data structures:


Algorithms

In this class we will learn many algorithms. Each of the operations above is done using a different algorithm for each data structure. Some of these are simple, and some are complex.

We will also learn many algorithms that operate on the different data structures we use.


Algorithm Analysis

Another important aspect of this course is algorithm analysis which is the study of how efficient an algorithm is. Whenever we come up with algorithms in this class, we will analyze them to see how efficient they are. Being able to determine the efficiency of an algorithm is important in choosing what data structures and algorithms are best for a particular task.

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