Questions on Using Python to Teach Data Structures and Algorithms

efrat efrat_regev at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 28 02:07:33 CEST 2006


   Hello,

   I'm planning to use Python in order to teach a DSA (data structures 
and algorithms) course in an academic institute. If you could help out 
with the following questions, I'd sure appreciate it:
1. What exactly is a Python list? If one writes a[n], then is the 
complexity Theta(n)? If this is O(1), then why was the name "list" 
chosen? If this is indeed Theta(n), then what alternative should be 
used? (array does not seem suited for teaching purposes.)
2. Suppose I have some file example.py, and I'd like to incorporate it 
**into** part of an HTML page with nice syntax highlighting and all the 
shebang. Is there an easy way to do so?
(Sorry, but any Google query involving "Python" and "HTML" (with any 
other additional terms) led to Python HTML processing libraries.)
3. Are there any useful links for Python/DSA education? I found "Data 
Structures and Algorithms with Object Oriented Design Patterns" 
(http://www.brpreiss.com/books/opus7/html/book.html). It is a fine book, 
but it is unsuitable: my students are electrical-engineers, and barely 
know how to program; teaching them DSA, python, **and** stuff like the 
visitor pattern seems impossible.

   Python is such a cool language - I'm really hoping the students will 
enjoy it as much as I do. Once again, many thanks for helping out with this.

   Thanks,

   Efrat



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