Basic Programming Techniques | Summary and Q&A

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January 21, 2014
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MIT OpenCourseWare
Basic Programming Techniques

TL;DR

Learn about the use of iteration and recursion in problem-solving and how to apply them in programming.

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Q: What are iteration and recursion?

Iteration involves repeating a set of instructions to solve a problem, while recursion breaks a problem into simpler pieces and solves them individually.

Q: What is the difference between iteration and recursion?

The main difference is that iteration does not have a dependency from one instance to the next, while recursion relies on solving simpler versions of the problem.

Q: How do you approach a complex programming problem?

Break it down into simpler, analogous pieces that you can tell the computer how to solve, and then combine the solutions to solve the more complex problem.

Q: Can a solution to a problem have both recursive and iterative elements?

Yes, some solutions may combine both recursive and iterative techniques to solve a problem efficiently.

Summary & Key Takeaways

• Iteration and recursion are problem-solving techniques commonly used in programming.

• Iteration involves repeating a set of instructions to solve a problem, while recursion breaks a problem into simpler pieces and solves them individually.

• To solve a problem using iteration, break it down into smaller steps and repeat them until the desired outcome is achieved. Recursion involves identifying patterns and solving simpler versions of the problem before combining them to solve the complex problem.