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Department of Information Science and Telecommunications


INFSCI 0015 - Data Structures and Programming Techniques

(Fall 2001, CRN 20895)

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INFSCI 0015 Course Books

INFSCI 015 is unique in the sense that you will need to learn both C language and Data Structures in parallel. This page lists your strongly recommended course books and some other books that may be helpful for your to master both subjects. You should be able to get both required books in the University Book Center. All strongly recommended books and two of recommended books (Perry's and Gookin's) have also been reserved for you in the Information Sciences Library. You can locate the reserved books through Course Reserves.

Main course books

Learning C language:

You have a choice of two books ob C language for the first part of the course. Most of the students taking IS0015 are not very skilled yet in C or any other programming language. If you belong to this group, I would recommend the first book below - Deitel and Deitel. This is a new book for IS0015 course but it was recommended by many students who took this course in the past. The book is rather expensive, but it proides good explanations, many examples and answered exercises. It also has a CD with examples and software. Still about 20% of students registering for IS0015 have either good knowledge of C or solid experience with another programming language. These student will benefit more from Kernighan and Ritchie book that was the main course book for IS0015 in the past. In addition to being one of the best textbooks on C language, this book is considered as a "bible" of C programmers. Unlike many other course books it will likely serve you for years after taking the course. This book is also cheaper. I strongy recommend you to get one of these books (but not both!) For each lecture you will get a choce of reading assignment from either of these books.

A C How to Program
Harvey Deitel, Paul Deitel
3rd Edition (earlier editions will also work)
Prentice Hall, 2000, 1253 pp.
ISBN: 0130895725

Read publisher's description of the book
Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($70.00)

The C Programming Language, 2nd edition1
Brian Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie
Prentice Hall 1989, 274 pp.
ISBN 0-13-110362-8

Read publisher's description of the book
Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($40)

1It's important that you get the second edition because it presents the ANSI standard version of C. The second edition of the book is commonly referred as K&R2

Learning Data Structures:

 For the second parg of the course you will need a data structures book. The following book is not mandatory, but strongly recommended because we will follow it very closely in the lectures (i.e., it will give you a second chance to understand the material if you have skipped a lecture of had troubles understanding it). All your "data structure" readings will be assigned from this book. This book has a "sister book" from the same authors and with almost the same title, but based on C++ istead of ANSI C. If you are buying this book, make sure that you are getting C version (checking ISBN in the bookstore could be a good idea). However, if you can borrow the C++ version from a friend, there is no need to buy the C version. They are almost identical.

Data Structures : A Pseudocode Approach With C
by Richard F. Gilberg, Behrouz A. Forouzan
Pws Pub Co;, 1998.
ISBN: 0534951236

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($64.95)
Buy / read about this book at bn.com ($63.75)

Recommended books on C:

This section is for those who want to consider another C book or an extra C book. The instructor of this course have reviewed about a dozen of popular books on C and also have collected recommendations of students taken this course in the past. Here are five additional books that I can recommend most. Pick one that better fits your style or simply one that you have around (i.e., can borrow or by used). Examine readers' feedback for these books on Amazon.com when making a decision. Note also that some of them could be available for less than half of its price on an auction.

The first two books are among the best college textbooks on C. College textbooks are specially written with college students in mind, but they tend to be expensive. They have been used in the past in conjunction with other courses at our department and other departments at Pitt, so you have a good chance to get a used copy from your fellow students. Any of these books can serve you as a book for the first part of the course, though none of them is as highly recommended by the students of IS 0015 as Deitel and Deitel's or as famous as Kernighan and Ritchie's.

The second three are the leaders of the "home reader" market. This kind of books simply has to be cheaper and can provide a good value for those without programming experience.  They were found very usuful by a number of our students who were starting almost from scratch. So, if you are a complete beginner, you can get of of these books as a supplement for your reading. Two of these books are reserved for this class in the llibrary.

A Book on C: Programming in C
Al Kelley and Ira Pohl
4th Edition (earlier editions will also work)
Addison-Wesley1998, 752 pp.
ISBN 0-201-18399-4

Read publisher's description of the book
Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($39.95)

ANSI C: Problem Solving and Programming
Kenneth Barclay
Prentice Hall, 1991, 500 pp.
ISBN 0-13-037326-5

Read publisher's description of the book
Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($61)

Programming in ANSI C
Stephen G. Kochan

Sams, 1994, 534 pp.
ISBN: 0672303396

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($23.96)

C for Dummies
Dan Gookin

IDG Books Worldwide, 800 pp.
ISBN: 1568849397

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($31.99)

Absolute Beginner's Guide to C
by Greg M. Perry

2nd edition
Sams, 1994.
ISBN: 0672305100

Buy / read about this book at amazon.com ($17.60)


Other books on C:

Here are some more options for the second C book. All of these books got some positive feedback from my colleagues or from the students taken this class in the past, but were not among the leaders. I have not included them in the "main list" above, but they may be a good choice for you (especially if you can get it free or cheap). Note also that in addition to published paper books there are many free Web tutorials on C language. Links to many of these tutorials are provides on the course links page.


Other books on Data Structures:

The required book should be the only data structure book you need for this course. There are, however,  a few other good books that use C language as a basis for data structures. Here is the list of books (with references to some information about each) that we consider better or closer to this course than others. Check if you want advanced knowledge on data structures. Some of these books could be found in Pitt or CMU library, but they have not been reserved for this course.

Copyright © 2001 Peter Brusilovsky