Friday, April 29, 2011

Data Structures and I

I always used to say that ‘Data structures’ is my favorite subject in whole engineering. This subject has taught me many different ways of thinking that is, creating the logic of the computers. I came across this subject for first time in my second year second semester of engineering. As per the old ‘S’ pattern syllabus of Computer Engineering diploma of MSBTE, Data structures was in the syllabus of Computer Technology branch. When first time semester pattern was introduced this subject was also introduced to Computer Engineering and Information Technology branches.

When I heard the name for first time, I did not get any meaning from ‘Data Structures’. One of my friend told that this subject is very complex than any other. So, I was a bit scared about it. But, in that year we used to face subjects like Linear Circuit Analysis, Analog Circuits, Electrical Machines and Signal Conditioners & Data Convertors. So, Data Structures was not looked much complex for me, as this was from our core branch. I used to refer the book of Girish Potdar on this subject. Girish Potdar was the professor from PICT college. He wrote this book as textbook for syllabus of University of Pune. This book was quite interesting. The programs were nice and sufficient to understand the concepts of Data Structures. Programming was my passion that time so I did not face much complexity in solving the problems in this subject. I came across the topic Complexity in first unit. From that time, I came to know different programming concerns in C. I was already having a strong base of C programming, which has helped me a lot to learn and understand the Data Structures. Then one by one I saw different sorting techniques. I remember I read the book from Prof. Shirish Sane to understand the concepts of sorting techniques. He had elaborated all this techniques in very good manner. I appreciate the works of Yashwant Kanetkar on this topic. He has illustrated almost all the sorting techniques with good practical implementation and in step by step manner. Someone has told me to refer the Tannenbaum’s book on data structures. I read it, but I did not get any sort of ideas from it. It was quite complex and hard to understand. As he is a foreign author, he had used the different language than Indian English. This was quite complex to understand. The algorithmic language that Tannenbaum has used was much different than I understood.

I studied different structures like stack and queues. The concepts were simple. It was also simple to implement these concepts in programming. But, after knowing the actual application of these, it made to more interesting to approach the Data structures. The same case continued for Linked Lists, Trees and Graphs too. I was weak in dynamic concepts like pointers in C but then also I forced myself to learn these concepts with the help of pointers. I used to learn the application of one data structure. So, it made me more interesting to learn all these concepts. I found this is a different subject than any other which is applicable in all the subjects of Computer and allied branches. I studied hard to learn all the concepts of data structures.

I got the chance to teach this subject only once and for twenty days only. Four years ago, when students of second year information technology were facing some problems to learn this subject, I was assigned to teach this. But, after that I did not get any chance to work with this subject.