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Data Structures & Algorithms in Swift

Learn how to implement data structures and algorithms in Swift! This course covers a wide range of topics, from fundamental data structures to advanced pathfinding algorithms. By Jessy Catterwaul & Catie Catterwaul.

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Part 1: Elementary Data Structures

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In this introductory episode, find out what we'll cover in the course, and familiarize yourself with Big O Notation.

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Data structures are language agnostic. Swift is a great language to learn them in due to its high-level expressiveness and performance.

Stack 11:56
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The Stack data structure gets its name from a stack of physical objects. When you add an item, you place it on top. And you'll always remove from the top too.

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In your first challenge of the course, employ your stack data structure to check for balanced parentheses.

Queue 10:51
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Queues use first-in-first-out (FIFO) ordering, meaning the first element that was enqueued will be the first to get dequeued.

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"Whose turn is it?" You will never have to ask that question again after solving this next challenge!

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These 3 sorting algorithms are not very performant, but are space efficient and easy to understand. What are Bubble Sort, Selection Sort, and Insertion Sort?

Merge Sort 9:41
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Implement Merge Sort, a divide-and-conquer style algorithm and one of the most efficient general-purpose sorting algorithms around.

Conclusion 0:24
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This episode concludes Part 1 of the course, reviews what you've learned, and hints at what's up next.

Part 2: Trees

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In this part, you'll learn about trees and build up the skills you need to implement a priority queue, which you'll need for graph-based algorithms.

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Trees are used to tackle many recurring challenges in software development. Binary Trees, which limit children to two nodes, are the basis for many algorithms.

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Who doesn't love to serialize and deserialize data? See if you can transform a tree into an array, and back!

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Binary Search is one of the most efficient searching algorithms, but requires a sorted collection with constant time index manipulation capabilities.

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Write a pair of customized binary search algorithms to find a range of indices for a given element in this challenge.

Heap 11:33
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Create the backbone of the Heap data structure, a special sort of binary tree that will support the rest of the algorithms in this course.

Heap Sort 12:26
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Now that you're able to sift down elements in a heap, Heap Sort is trivial to implement. Finish off your Heap by sifting in the other direction: up.

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Write a method that will let you know if a given Array represents a Heap. Swift's closures make it possible to use the same code for min and max heaps.

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Combine your fully-featured Heap with a simple Queue interface, and you'll have a Priority Queue. Use it for working with maximum or minimum list values.

Conclusion 0:33
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This episode concludes Part 2 of the course, reviews what you've learned, and hints and what's up next.

Part 3: Graphs

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A graph is a data structure that captures relationships using vertices connected by edges. You'll be using weighted, undirected graphs in this part.

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Define a protocol that will apply to all Graphs. Vertex and Edge types will also be necessary for all concrete Graph implementations.

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An Adjacency List is a compound data structure used to represent the edge connections of every vertex in a graph. You'll be using it for undirected graphs.

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Design an algorithm to get all the paths from one vertex to another, in a graph, without any cycles.

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Using a diagram of a graph, use Dijkstra's algorithm to choose vertices and edges to build up shortest paths.

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Now that you understand Dijkstra's algorithm conceptually, it's time to create an API to use it for pathfinding!

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Leverage Dijkstra's algorithm to find the shortest paths from one vertex in a graph to every other vertex–not just one in particular.

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Use Prim’s algorithm to construct a minimum spanning tree for a graph (which is a lowest-cost subset of its edges).

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Here's a minimum spanning tree that may have resulted from Prim’s algorithm. What is it that you can say about one of its mystery edges?

Conclusion 1:18
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Congrats on completing the course! This episode offers advice on where to learn more about data structures and algorithms.