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Study Guide

ITM 207- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 16 pages long!)


Department
Information Technology Management
Course Code
ITM 207
Professor
Youcef Derbal
Study Guide
Midterm

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Ryerson
ITM 207
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Chapter 7: Problem Solving and Algorithms
CHAPTER 7.1: HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
Polya’s How to Solve It list:
*We can replace the word unknown with problem, data with information, and theorem with
solution, and the list becomes applicable to all types of problems*  the second step is the main
part of problem solving.
ASK QUESTIONS:
What do I know about the problem?
What does the solution look like?
What sort of special cases exist?
How will I recognize that I have found the solution?
LOOK FOR FAMILIAR THINGS:
If a solution exists, use it
If you’ve solved the same or similar problem before, just repeat the successful solution
*In computing, you see certain problems again and again in different guises
*A good programmer sees a task, or perhaps part of a task (a subtask), that has been
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Chapter 7: Problem Solving and Algorithms
solved before and plugs in the solution
oFor example; finding the daily high and low temperatures in a list of temperatures
is exactly the same problem as finding the highest and lowest grades in a list of
test scores. You want the largest and smallest values in a set of numbers
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
We break up a large problem into smaller pieces that we can solve individually
Tasks are divided into subtasks, which can be divided further into sub-sub tasks and so
forth
The divide-and-conquer approach can be applied over and over again until each subtask
is manageable
ALGORITHMS
*The last sentence in the second step in Polya’s list says that you should eventually
obtain a plan of the solution, and in computing, this plan is called an “algorithm
An “Algorithm” is a set of instructions for solving a problem or sub-problem in a finite
amount of time using a finite amount of data
oImplicit in this definition is the understanding that the instructions are
unambiguous
In computing, we must make certain conditions explicit that are implicit in human
solutions
oFor example; in everyday life we would not consider a solution that takes forever
to be much of a solution that requires us to proves more information than we
are capable of processing
These constraints must be explicit in a computer solution, so the
definition of an algorithm includes them
The third step in Polya’s list is to carry out the plan --- that is, to test the solution to see
if it solves the problem
The fourth step is to examine the solution for future applicability
COMPUTER PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS:
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