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Thinking Recursively with Java Paperback – Deluxe Edition, November 9, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0471701460 ISBN-10: 0471701467 Edition: 20th Anniversary Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 20th Anniversary Edition edition (November 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471701467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471701460
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

To understand recursion, you first have to understand recursion.

If reading the statement above gives you a mild headache, you’re not alone. Recursion is not only one of the most important concepts in the computer science curriculum; it’s also one of the most challenging to understand.

Now in Thinking Recursively with Java, author and award-winning teacher Eric Roberts, demystifies this often-frustrating topic by equipping you with effective problem-solving strategies that enable you to "think recursively.” Based on Roberts’s now classic text, Thinking Recursively (Wiley 1986), this 20th anniversary edition now uses Java, making recursion even more relevant to today’s students. 

Features

  • Learn how to apply recursive techniques, so you can succeed in advanced CS courses that depend on the use of recursive strategies.
  • The book’s ample selection of examples and exercises (more than the typical general text) enables you to work through as many problems as you need to master recursive techniques.
  • Examples now use Java, making the book compatible with modern approaches to introductory computer science.
  • Expanded chapters on recursive backtracking and graphical applications support interesting examples enabled by current technology.
  • The code in the book is fully compatible with the libraries produced by the ACM Java Task Force, as well as with other standard approaches to teaching Java.

About the Author

Eric Roberts is Professor of Computer Science and John and Cynthia Gunn University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He is widely recognized as an expert teacher and has won numerous teaching awards at Stanford. He was the principal author of the ACM/IEEE-CS report on Computing Curricula 2001 and received the ACM-SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education in 2003.

About the Author

Eric Roberts is Professor of Computer Science and John and Cynthia Gunn University Fellow in Undergraduate Education at Stanford University. He is widely recognized as an expert teacher and has won numerous teaching awards at Stanford. He was the principal author of the ACM/IEEE-CS report on Computing Curricula 2001 and received the ACM-SIGCSE Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computer Science Education in 2003.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
In mathematics and computer science, recursion specifies a class of objects or methods by defining a few very simple base cases or methods, and then defining rules to break down complex cases into simpler cases. Of the books out there on recursion, this really is a very good one. This is the 20th anniversary edition of the author's classic book "Thinking Recursively", which was published in 1986, with all code illustrations now done in the Java programming language. In fact, this book has the exact same number of chapters with the exact same names as the original edition with improved and expanded material.

The author does a good job of comparing the procedural approach to the recursive approach while showing an example of a producing a "context-free grammar" in which the procedural approach fails. This is not only a good discussion of the shortcomings of the procedural approach, it has some concrete examples that explain the concept of the context-free grammar better than programming language textbooks that are dedicated to the cause. Next the book offers up the recursive solution for the familiar and classic Tower of Hanoi problem. This section uses index cards to illustrate the solution. Necessary tasks for each subgoal are listed on the index card and are gradually marked out to indicate progress in moving the disks from one tower to the other. There are also discussions on permutations and sorting that are best solved by recursion. Of course, you can find this information in most good algorithm textbooks, but you can't usually find in those textbooks the code examples that show the complete solution to the problem that you find in this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gary Mccormack on December 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't program in Java, mainly c++. If you program in any c-style language you will find this book insightful in Thinking about recursion. The examples are great and the book is written in a very nice style. I came upon this book by chance. I owned a second hand copy of the original with included examples in Pascal. I much prefer this edition. To get the most out of this book, I'd recommend you attempt and think about the questions at the end of each of the chapters. The mathematical induction related chapter was eye opening and very enjoyable. I'd recommend any text that Eric Roberts has written, he is obviously gifted in his ability to educate and make it so rewarding in the process.

Thank you

Gary
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This little book is a minor classic. First published 20 years ago, it gave an extended explanation of recursion, which is a vital concept in computer science. Of course, Java did not exist back then, so that edition used Pascal for the example code. But Pascal has undergone a severe downturn. Hence this second edition has code in Java.

Classic pedagogic examples like the Towers of Hanoi are shown to yield to a recursive assult. The code examples are concise. Not atypical of recursive methods. If you find the entire idea of recursion to be a little weird, you can focus on the text's examples. Unlike code for, say, GUI building, which is often voluminous, recursion is subtler. And far more elegant, if you appreciate this type of abstraction.

Roberts also brings up fractals. Another trendy topic. He shows that recursion and fractals are a very natural fit. The concept of self-similarity that underpins fractals is so easy to express in a recursive routine. If you understand recursion by this point in the text, a bonus may be the nice insight this gives into fractals.

The only minor dissenting point is that there seems to be no discussion about when you should not code a recursive solution, even if such a method is possible. If you have a large data set, that triggers a stack or heap overflow, due to repeated, recursive method calls, where each call pushes return address information for that method onto a stack. I have had to rewrite sections of my own code, that were originally recursive, due to this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bharath Pasupuleti on August 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author treats the very important subject of recursion from the ground up with the necessary fundamentals. The examples are significant and introduce the reader to the use of data structures and algorithms. In the process, underlying implementations are examined which clear the thought process. The book will serve as a good reference.
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0 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Fadalti Aldo ALESSANDRO on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Many pages spent in academic formulas make this book good for students only.
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