Data Structures Part 1: Introduction

Welcome to the very first of what will be a series of posts designed to provide you with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of data structures in computer science. The goal of this series is to provide a free, easy to use guide to help you further your understanding of one of the most fundamental topics in a computer science education.

This series will cover a good number of the most fundamental of data structures, as well as a few less-common ones. By the end of this series you should have a firm grasp on what some of the various data structures are, how they work and how to implement them.

So, let’s not waste any more time!

What is a Data Structure?

Before we dive head first into learning the various data structures we need to first answer the most basic of questions: what is a data structure?

Luckily for us, data structures are really pretty simple to define. All they are is a systematic way for us to organize data in such a way that it is easy and efficient to access said data.

That’s right! Data structures are nothing more than a specialized format for storing data. Nothing more, nothing less.

Diving In

That’s all we’re going to cover here in part one. Each following section will be kept as concise as possible, while still providing you with all the detail you need to understand each data structure. Each structure will have its own post.

All examples will be implemented in the C programming language, so you need to be familiar with that to understand what’s going on. With that being said, you’re ready to dive head first into learning these data structures!

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2: Arrays
  • Part 3: Lists
  • Part 4: Stacks
  • Part 5: Queues
  • Part 6: Sets
  • Part 7: Maps
  • Part 8: Hash Tables
  • Part 9: Trees
  • Part 10: Graphs

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