CS51A - Spring 2019 - Class 6

Example code in this lecture


Lecture notes

  • admin
       - assignment 2

  • prime numbers
       - what is a prime number?
          - a number that is only divisible by 1 and itself
       - what are the first 10 prime numbers?
          - the first 100?
          - the first 1000?
       - How could we write a program that figured this out?
       - To start with, how can we tell if a number is prime?
          - try and divide it by all of the numbers between 1 and the number
          - if none of them divide evenly, then it's prime, otherwise it's not
       - A few questions:
          - do we need to check all of the numbers up to that number?
             - just need to check up to sqrt(number) (inclusive)
          - how can we check to see if a number divides evenly?
             - use the remainder/modulo operator and see if it equals 0 (i.e. no remainder)
          - how can we check all of the numbers?
             - use a for loop

  • look at isprime function in while.py code
       - for loop starting at 2 up to the sqrt of the number
          - there are multiple versions of the range function
             - range with a simple parameter starts counting at 0 up to but not including the specified number
             - range with 2 parameters starts counting at the first number up to, but not including, the second number

                for i in range(10, 20):
                   print i

                would print out the numbers from 10 - 19 (but not 20)

          - the if statement checks to see if the number is divisible by i
          - if we find this we can stop early!
             - the minute we find this, we know it's not prime so we can return False
          - what does "return True" do?
             - if we've checked all of the numbers and none of them were divisible (otherwise we would have exited the function with the return False), so return True
       - we can use this to see if a number is prime

          >>> isprime(5)
          >>> isprime(6)
          >>> isprime(100)
          >>> isprime(101)

  • import math
       - A second way to import: import module_name
       - To reference a function within that module, you then say module_name.function_name
       - Why might we use this option, i.e. when would we use:
          from math import *


          import math

          - Use the first if you're going to be using the functions a lot and it's clear that they come from that module
          - Use the second to be extra clear where the functions are coming from and to avoid naming conflicts

  • how could we use isprime to print out the first 10 (100, 1000, etc) prime numbers?
       - like to do some sort of loop
       - will a for loop work?
          - we don't know when we're going to stop
          - we'd like to keep a count of how many we've seen and only stop when we've reached the number we want

  • while loop
       - another way to do repetition

       while <bool expression>:


       as long as the <bool expression> evaluates to True, it continues to repeat the statements, when it becomes False, it then continues on and executes statement3, etc.

       - specifically:
          evaluates the boolean expression
             - if it's False
                - it "exits" the loop and goes on to statement3 and continues there
             - if it's True
                - executes statement1, statement2, ... (all statements inside the "block" of the loop, just like a for loop)
             - go back to beginning and repeat
       - how could we use a while loop for our prime numbers problem?
          - keep a count of how many primes we've found (initially starts at 0)
          - start count from 1 and work our way up
          - check each number
          - if it's prime
             - print it out
             - increment the counter of how many primes we've found
          - keep repeating this as long as (while) the number of primes we've printed is less than the number we want

  • can you emulate a for loop with a while loop?
       - yes!

       for i in range(10):

       is equivalent to writing:

       i = 0

       while i < 10:
          i = i + 1

  • look at firstprimes function in while.py code
       - current += 1 every time through the loop we increment the number we're examining
       - if that current number happens to be prime, we increment count
       - the loop continues "while" count < num, that is as long as the number we've found is less than the number we're looking for

  • infinite loops
       - what would the following code do?

       while True:

       - will never stop
          - in this case you should see some output
          - sometimes, it will look like the program just froze if you're not actually printing anything out
       - you can stop this by selecting "reset shell"
       - be careful about these with your program. They're called an infinite loop.
       - if you think you might have an infinite loop
          - put in some print statements to debug
          - think about when the boolean expression will become False and make sure that is going to happen in your loop

  • run scores-lists.py code
       - First, prompts the user to enter a list of scores one at a time
          - how is this done?
             - while loop
             - what is the exit condition?
                - checks to see if the line is empty

                   while line != ""
       - then, calculate various statistics based on what was entered
       - how are we calculating these statistics?
          - average?
             - could keep track of the sum and the number of things entered
             - divide at the end
          - max?
             - keep track of the largest seen so far
             - each time a new one is entered, see if it's larger, if so, update the largest
          - min?
             - same thing
          - median?
             - the challenge with median is that we can't calculate it until we have all of the scores
             - need to sort them and then find the middle score

       - why can't we do this using int/float variables?
          - we don't know how many scores are going to be entered
          - even if we did, if we had 100 students in the class, we'd need 100 variables!

  • lists
       - lists are a data structure in Python
          - what is a data structure?
             - a way of storing and organizing data

       - lists allow us to store multiple values with a single variable

  • creating lists: we can create a new list using square brackets
       >>> [7, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2]
       [7, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2]
       >>> 10 # not a list
       >>> [10]
       >>> l = [7, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2]
       >>> l
       [7, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2]
       >>> type(l)
       <type 'list'>
       lists are a type and represent a value, just like floats, ints, bools and strings. We can assign them to variables, print them, etc.

       - what do you think [] represents?
          - empty list
          >>> []
  • accessing lists
       - we can get at particular values in the list by using the [] to "index" into the list
          >>> l = [7, 4, 3, 6, 1, 2]
          >>> l[3]

          notice that indexing starts counting at 0, not at 1!

          >>> l[0]

       - What do you think l[20] will give us?
          >>> l[20]
          Traceback (most recent call last):
           File "<string>", line 1, in <fragment>
          IndexError: list index out of range

          we can only index from 0 up to the length of the list minus 1

       - What do you think l[-1] will give us?
          >>> l[-1]

          if the index is negative it counts back from the end of the list

       - notice that the type thing in the list is as you'd expect:      
          >>> type(l[3])
          <type 'int'>

  • storing other things in lists
       - draw the list representation
       - a list is a contiguous set of spaces in memory
       - we can store anything in each of these spaces

          >>> ["this", "is", "a", "list", "of", "strings"]
          ['this', 'is', 'a', 'list', 'of', 'strings']
          >>> list_of_strings = ["this", "is", "a", "list", "of", "strings"]
          >>> list_of_strings[0]
          >>> [1, 5.0, "my string"]
          [1, 5.0, 'my string']
          >>> l = [1, 5.0, "my string"]
          >>> type(l[0])
          <type 'int'>
          >>> type(l[1])
          <type 'float'>
          >>> type(l[2])
          <type 'str'>

       - In general, it's a good idea to have lists be homogeneous, i.e. be of the same type

  • slicing
       - sometimes we want more than just one item from the list (this is called "slicing")
       - We can specify a range in the square brackets, [], using the colon (:)

          >>> l = ["this", "is", "a", "list", "of", "strings"]
          >>> l[0:3]
          ['this', 'is', 'a']
          >>> l[1:5]
          ['is', 'a', 'list', 'of']
          >>> l[1:1]
          >>> l[-3:-1]
          ['list', 'of']

          - generates a *new* list
          - that includes the items from the list starting at the first number and up to, but not including, the second number