To make a computer do anything, you have to write a computer program. To write a computer program, you have to tell the computer, step by step, exactly what you want it to do. The computer then executes the program, following each step mechanically, to accomplish the end goal.
When you are telling the computer what to do, you also get to choose how it’s going to do it. That’s where algorithms come in. The algorithm is the basic technique used to get the job done.
You can think of algorithms as a recipe that describes the exact steps needed for the computer to solve a problem or reach a goal. We’ve all seen food recipes – they list the ingredients needed and a set of steps for how to make the described meal. Well, an algorithm is just like that.
In this course, you will learn some of the most popular and useful algorithms for searching and sorting information, working with techniques like recursion, and understanding common data structures. We’ll also get into the performance implications of different algorithms and how to evaluate the performance of a given algorithm. Each algorithm is shown in practice in Python, but the lessons can be applied to any programming language.