PART I: UNDERSTANDING RECURSION
Chapter 1: What Is Recursion?
Chapter 2: Recursion vs. Iteration
Chapter 3: Classic Recursion Algorithms
Chapter 4: Backtracking and Tree Traversal Algorithms
Chapter 5: Divide-and-Conquer Algorithms
Chapter 6: Permutations and Combinations
Chapter 7: Memoization and Dynamic Programming
Chapter 8: Tail Call Optimization
Chapter 9: Drawing Fractals
PART II: PROJECTS
Chapter 10: File Finder
Chapter 11: Maze Generator
Chapter 12: Sliding-Tile Solver
Chapter 13: Fractal Art Maker
Chapter 14: Droste Maker
The Recursive Book of Recursion
Recursion has an intimidating reputation: it’s considered to be an advanced computer science topic frequently brought up in coding interviews. But there’s nothing magical about recursion.
This project-based guide contains complete, runnable programs to help you learn:
- How recursive functions make use of the call stack, a critical data structure almost never discussed in lessons on recursion
- How the head-tail and “leap of faith” techniques can simplify writing recursive functions
- How to use recursion to write custom search scripts for your filesystem, draw fractal art, create mazes, and more
- How optimization and memoization make recursive algorithms more efficient
Al Sweigart has built a career explaining programming concepts in a fun, approachable manner. If you’ve shied away from learning recursion but want to add this technique to your programming toolkit, or if you’re racing to prepare for your next job interview, this book is for you.
"This book takes the mystery out of recursion. By the time you finish it, you'll see recursion as a powerful technique, but also a technique usable by mere mortals."
—John D. Cook
"... this book is a worthy read for a developer who wants to deepen their knowledge of advanced programming topics. While basic recursion is included in early programming curriculum, it typically stops at examples that can be reproduced with iteration. In this book, Al Sweigart starts are these basics and quickly expands to include types of algorithms that benefit from recursion, such as tree traversal and divide-and-conquer. Though focused on those actively interviewing for engineering roles, the book is also a good fit for professional development, an engineering book club, or a brain tickler for your technical book shelf. The real life projects at the end are especially informative, which is why I think... (this review 'recurs' to the beginning)"
—Adam DuVander, @adamd, Founder of EveryDeveloper
"I have felt for a long time that I had a pretty good handle on the subject of recursion . . . Thanks to Al Sweigart's new book, I think I'm far better informed than I was before. I will re-read this book a couple more times, just to add to the knowledge."
—Ronnie Tucker, Editor, Full Circle Magazine
Check out Al's interview with The Real Python Podcast.