If you study computer programming, computer engineering, or computer science, then you need to get familiar with data structures and algorithms. You may already be taking courses in data structures and algorithms if you’re currently enrolled in a computer science degree program at a university or college. Pay attention to these courses because they are crucial in learning the fundamentals of programming.
Programmers and engineers are problem solvers. If they are going to be successful at solving a problem, they need to utilize the right data structures and algorithms. If they cannot do this, then it will be difficult for them to solve the problem. You need to learn how to associate data structures and algorithms with real-life problems and scenarios. That is the best way to ensure that you’ll be able to solve problems.
Whether you are in a programming class or not, it never hurts to brush up on your knowledge of data structures and algorithms. There are always new books and literature being written on these topics. The more information and knowledge about data structures and algorithms that you retain in your brain, the better you will be at programming.
There are countless numbers of books available on the topics of data structures and algorithms. We’ve narrowed down the list and chosen the best books for you to read and learn from on these topics.
Our Best Picks
Below are the top 5 books for data structures and algorithms:
1) Introduction to Algorithms
The “Introduction to Algorithms” is considered to be one of the top books ever written on the topic of computer algorithms. Thomas H. Cormen and three other authors were all contributors to the content of this book. It is an all-inclusive book that focuses on several different advanced algorithms and techniques for solving problems. Some of which include dynamic programming, data structures, greedy algorithms, hash tables, graphs, arrays, and more.
The authors use very simple English to explain these concepts to the readers. Programmers who are just starting out should purchase this book because it is the best way for them to get an understandable introduction to algorithms. A lot of other books tend to confuse beginner programmers, but not this book. The authors use pseudo-code and a number of other methods to simplify these difficult algorithmic concepts.
Of course, if you’re an advanced programmer, then you can consider this refresher material. It does go over complicated programming languages like C++, Java, and C.
2) Algorithms Unlocked
The “Algorithms Unlocked” was written to make algorithms seem easy and understandable. The author, Thomas Cormen, tries to get the reader to understand algorithms by connecting them to things in everyday life. If you want the quickest way to learn algorithms without all the complicated jargon that other books provide, then you’ll want to purchase a copy of “Algorithms Unlocked.”
The book covers some of the most common computer algorithms that are used in the industry. You’ll learn about string algorithms, sorting algorithms, searching algorithms, searching algorithms, cryptography algorithms, data compression algorithms, and so much more. You’ll learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about algorithms in the simplest way possible.
You won’t find as much material about data structures in this book, but you can always combine it with a data structures book to learn more about both concepts.
3) Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy
The “Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy” is an easy read for anyone who wants an introduction to data structures and algorithms. Instead of all the complicated language, you will learn about the practical usefulness of data structures and algorithms in real-life scenarios.
The author, Thomas H. Cormen, presents problems and examples which utilize the C programming language. If you are studying the C programming language, then this book is the perfect way for you to learn about data structures. You’ll learn everything there is to know about data structures and how they function.
If you’re a beginner, then go look for this book on Amazon the next time you get a chance.
4) Data Structures and Algorithms in Java
The “Data Structures and Algorithms in Java” is obviously a data structure and algorithms book that focuses more on the Java programming language. If you want to learn about data structures, such as graphs, trees, queues, stacks, and linked lists, then this is one of the best reference books out there for anyone learning the Java programming language.
Since there is a lot about Java covered in this book, it doesn’t get too heavily involved in content about data structures and algorithms. However, it does go over some core concepts associated with directed graphs, cyclic graphs, and minimum spanning trees. There are even exercises available so that readers can practice their newfound knowledge and see how much of the material they retained.
5) Algorithms for Interviews
The “Algorithms for Interviews” is quite a unique book about data structures and algorithms. It gives readers a totally new perspective when it comes to the design and utilization of algorithms. A series of interview questions are given to the readers, and they must use these questions for applying the algorithms.
Anyone who is a software engineer graduate from college will want to pick up the “Algorithms for Interviews” book. When you start applying for programming jobs at reputable companies like Google or Microsoft, they are going to ask you tough interview questions associated with algorithms and data structures. If you are not prepared for those interview questions, then you are never going to get hired by those companies.
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All of these data structures and algorithms books have their own unique qualities. You may find certain books are better at explaining data structures and algorithms than others. But when it comes to the “Algorithms for Interviews” and the “Data Structures and Algorithms in Java,” you can learn some extra things that go beyond simply learning about data structures and algorithms. You can learn about Java and interviewing for programming jobs as well. So, think about that when you go shopping for some of these books.