Monday, December 8, 2008

Wikipedia and DAA

Exams are near and study season is on. This semester, we've a paper called DAA, thats an acronym for Design & Analysis of Algorithms. For the students, this is the most nasty paper of this sem, just because there is no perfect book for it like we've Navathe and Elmasri for DBMS, Galvin for OS, Lipschutz for Data Structures and all of the rest not enumerated here. The book for DAA that everyone follows is called Fundamentals Of Computer Algorithms. The book is too thick and writer names are equally weird. One simple name is Sartaj Sahni. I hate the font and the dull colour of pages so I don't want to study from it at all. Also there is a lot of exaggerated stuff filled inside. It is too difficult to understand the concepts from it and the algorithms take whole of your brain's processing power and still can't run inside your mind!!! Most of the stuff belongs to Computational Complexity Theory so not as helluva as OS to understand. So, I was searching for some niftier alternative. I tore apart the DAA page from syllabus booklet and started searching for things on net. Search means google. For every topic that I was searching, the first result was a wikipedia article. The language, to the point articles, points, easy small and concise algorithms filled with elegance are easy to slurp and digest! I finished 75% of the syllabi in just two days(not 48 hours but less than 10 hours). I've never studied more than 6 hours a day in my life. The toughest paper of this sem now seems helluva to me! Long live wikipedia!!! Include all course material from our syllabi and we'll never have to deal with boring books.
Here is the list of some important stuff about which I got my fundamentals cleared on wikipedia in last 2 days:
8-queens problem
Sum of subsets
Dynamic Programming
Branch and Bound
Greedy method
Divide and Conquer
Problem Classes i.e. P, NP, NP-hard and NP-complete
Cook's theorem
Graph colouring
...and lots more! That much seems enough to pass!! lol

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