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01+-+Introduction - EECS 280 Manifesto Mathematics...

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9/19/10 1 Introduction EECS 280 Programming and Introductory Data Structures 1 EECS 280 Manifesto Mathematics , especially as used by physics, is the formalism we use to describe “what is” The physical world is modeled by equations. Solutions to these equations give us insight into the world. Classical mathematics, however, does not say anything about how these processes unfold. For that, we need something else… Computer Science is the formalism we use to describe “how to” The computer science world uses algorithms to do this. Algorithm : An abstract sequence of actions composed to solve a problem. Program : A concrete set of program statements which implement some algorithm. 2 What you need for EECS 280 3 Prior programming experience is the only pre-req (i.e. ENGR 101 is not required) You do not need to have prior C++ and/or Linux experience If you do not have C++ and/or Linux experience, this will not cause a significant issue. However, you will need to learn basic C++ syntax on your own for things like selection, iteration, basic I/O, etc… (see Ctools background material and chapters 1-5) Linux will be covered in the first few discussions and in office hours if needed The Task of Programming Accept a possibly incomplete and/or imprecise specification of the problem. Design an effective algorithm that: Correctly satisfies the specification. Is efficient in its (asymptotic) usage of space and time (i.e. how does it behave when we change problem parameters). Implement the algorithm correctly and efficiently An implementation of an algorithm is correct if it behaves as the algorithm is intended for all inputs and in all situations. Correctness is never negotiable. 4 The Task of Programming (Implementation Cont’d) There are three notions of an efficient implementation The implementation has (concrete) space/time requirements asymptotically similar to the more abstract requirements of the corresponding algorithm. Of all of the "asymptotically good" possible implementations, this one is among the better ones in absolute, concrete terms. It does not take an undue amount of effort for a programmer to: Write the implementation in the first place (simplicity). Improve/adapt the implementation to more general or closely related algorithms (elegance). So, efficient can mean fast, simple, and/or elegant. 5 The Task of Programming Two more pieces of the programming puzzle: Testing Maintenance These are often be overlooked when a deadline approaches.
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