Monthly Archives: January 2023

It really isn’t that difficult

I’ve been contributing to Stack Overflow for 14 years: pretty much ever since it started. And every year there are Computer Science students who come up with novel ways of screwing up parsing and evaluating arithmetic expressions. It’s a problem … Continue reading

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But that’s the way we’ve always done it!

Some years back I did a lot of research on and experimentation with the binary heap data structure. During that time I noticed that publicly available implementations placed the root of the heap at array[1], even in languages where arrays … Continue reading

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First, prove that it’s possible

Building on my previous post about finding a working solution first, before thinking of optimization issues. I have been fortunate to work on many interesting problems in my career, and I have used that approach every time: first, find something … Continue reading

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Find a solution first

I’ve mentioned before that I contribute to answering questions on StackOverflow. Something I see all too often is a question asking for “the most efficient way” to solve a first- or second-semester homework problem. It’s clear from the content of … Continue reading

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