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THIS TEXTBOOK is about computer science. It is also about Python. However, there is much more. The study of algorithms and data structures is central to understanding what computer science is all about. Learning computer science is not unlike learning any other type of difficult subject matter. The only way to be successful is through deliberate and incremental exposure to the fundamental ideas. A beginning computer scientist needs practice so that there is a thorough understanding before continuing on to the more complex parts of the curriculum. In addition, a beginner needs to be given the opportunity to be successful and gain confidence. This textbook is designed to serve as a text for a first course on data structures and algorithms, typically taught as the second course in the computer science curriculum. Even though the second course is considered more advanced than the first course, this book assumes you are beginners at this level. You may still be struggling with some of the basic ideas and skills from a first computer science course and yet be ready to further explore the discipline and continue to practice problem solving. We cover abstract data types and data structures, writing algorithms, and solving problems. We look at a number of data structures and solve classic problems that arise. The tools and techniques that you learn here will be applied over and over as you continue your study of computer science.
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