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Data Structures In C 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1438253275
ISBN-10: 1438253273
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Noel Kalicharan is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. For more than 40 years, he has taught programming courses to people at all levels. He has been teaching programming, among other things, at the University since 1976. In 1988, he developed and hosted a 26-programme television series entitled Computers - Bit by Bit. Among other things, this series taught programming to the general public.

He is always looking for innovative ways to teach logical thinking skills which go hand in hand with programming skills. His efforts resulted in two games - BrainStorm! and Not Just Luck - which won him the Prime Minister's Award for Invention and Innovation in 2000 and 2002.

He is a Computer Science author for Cambridge University Press which published his international successes, Introduction to Computer Studies and C By Example. The C book is ranked among the best in the world for learning the C programming language. It has received glowing reviews from readers as far away as Australia, Canada, India and Scotland. This book is written in a more leisurely style.

Born in Lengua Village, Princes Town, Trinidad, he received his primary education at the Lengua Presbyterian School and his secondary education at Naparima College. He is a graduate of The University of the West Indies, Jamaica, the University of British Columbia, Canada and The University of the West Indies, Trinidad.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1438253273
  • ISBN-13: 978-1438253275
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After some thought, I decided to change the rating of the book from 5 stars to 4.

First, the good:
The book is fairly well contained, and offers a complete introduction to data structures. The first two chapters review struct declarations and pointers in C. The rest of the book covers linked lists, stacks, queues, hash tables, matrices, trees, graphs, and sorting. The book is well written, and the chapters are very well organized. As with every technical subject, rereading a section once or twice will probably be necessary. But once it sinks in, it is a fantastic feeling! I think that the problems at the end of the chapter are extremely valuable. Some problems are simple drills, but others will require you to apply what you learned to solve real life problems. Some require you to come up with your own algorithms. In one problem, the author guides the reader toward making a "big number" library that can handle arbitrarily large integers. I found this problem particularly enlightening, and I felt very accomplished upon its completion.

Now, for the bad:
In my opinion, the author's coding style is a little sloppy. My biggest issue is that he doesn't emphasize the release of dynamically allocated memory. For example, in chapter 4, he includes the complete code needed to implement a stack data structure. However, he doesn't mention anything about creating a function that will release the dynamic memory. This occurs consistently in chapter 5, too. This book is meant to appeal to beginners, and beginners are especially likely to create memory leaks. The author should have addressed this issue.

Secondly, a lot of the book's source code assumes that arrays start out with an index of 1. In C, of course, all array elements start with 0.
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I found this book very good and clear. Having among others these books in my library

1. Introduction to Algorithms - Cormen et all
2. Algorithms in C - R. Sedgewick
Lafore Data Structure book is very good too but he wrote it only in C++ and Java books.

I would suggest to read Noel Kalicharan's book first and then dive into the other ones that have more depth. But the simplicity and the way that this book teach the basics I think makes it the best first book on Data Structures. You 'll grab the basics quickly and you 'll be able to use them.
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The only way for me to describe Professor Kalicharan's style of writing and teaching is the following quote attributed to Albert Einstein: "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler". Simplicity and (crystal) clarity are his trademark. He just wants you to understand. But he won't dumb down the subject, nor he will get over wordy. He will just use the right explanation, the one that you will remember, and he will describe every step for you so you don't get lost. He will point out what's important; he will make you understand.

The book is only 300 pages long but after reading it you will be able to pick up any other book on data structures (whatever the programming language used) and say "The explanation was clearer in Professor Kalicharan's book".

The code is simple and clear, you can actually remember it, think about it and play with it - things you can't do with a Data Structures book using OOP where the implementation of the simplest data structure takes at least two pages. Who needs OOP to learn about linked lists, trees or graph? In my opinion OOP takes the fun out learning Data Structures. In this book you will find:

Structures
Pointers
Linked lists
Stacks and queues
Binary trees
Sorting (selection sort, insertion sort, heapsort, quicksort, mergesort, Shell sort)
Graphs
Hashing
Working with matrices

To really understand data structures you need to play with them, and to do so all you need is main() and a few others functions. All of them will happily stand in only one file. To understand data structures, to play with them you don't even need to bother yourself with "modular programming" even though the programs in the book are written using modular programming concepts.
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I don't have much in the way of detail to add to the other very informative reviews, so I'll be brief.

In terms of "pre-Sedgewick" level books, this one is head and shoulders the winner, and really the only book you need at this level. It is second to none in terms of clarity, conciseness, choice of topics, coverage, layout, and even price and production value. All the usual linear, tree, and graph data structures and algorithms are covered, all striking the right balance between abstraction and detail. A real gem.
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This book has to be probably the best "first book" I've ever come across for anyone who wants to learn data structures! It does assume that you're at least a little familiar with programming and C (it doesn't go over the language syntax, and starts off going over structs and pointers, and then jumps right into linked lists), so if you're new to programming or C, I'd recommend picking up another book first before jumping into this one.

The author makes everything very easy to understand, often listing out detailed steps in plain English to explain concepts first (without using formal pseudocode), along with diagrams, and then shows you the C code to implement them. However, the author never shows full source files, only snippets of code at a time, so if you're new to C and still figuring out how to program in it, it might be tricky figuring out how to order each snippet (like which ones go above others, as getting the ordering wrong will result in a compiler error). Although explanations aren't always detailed down to specifying everything about every step (like how the queue is re-ordered when using Dijkstra's algorithm to find SSSPs), they're consistently clear and easy to follow, in a tone that's never dry or pretentious - you won't find any "it is easy to see" in this book. ;) The fonts are nice and large as well, with the majority of the text in Times New Roman and source code in a Tahoma-like typeface. Plenty of whitespace as well, so pages don't look dense and are quick to read, and the book is just under 300 pages of material too, so anyone should be able to get through it relatively quickly, probably as short as a few weeks if you go through a little bit every day.
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