Topic #8b – List & Pointer Trivia¶

Nested lists¶

• If you can nest loops… can you nest lists?

Activity

Figure out if Python supports nested lists. If it does: build a few. If it doesn’t: how might you implement them yourself?

Activity

Hack around with Python to find answers to these questions:
1. Can you have a list in a list?

2. What about a list in a list in a list?

3. How about a list in a list in a list in a list in a list in a list?

4. Are there methods for the lists?

List Trivia¶

let’s assume we have a = [1,4,6,2,4,6]

• An empty list is a list!!!!

>>> b = []
>>> print(b)
[]
>>> print(type(b))
<class 'list'>
>>> print(len(b))
0
• Like strings, we can use in

>>> print(4 in a)
True
>>> print('x' in a)
False
• We can get the length of a list with len(the_list)

>>> print(len(a))
6
• We can print out a whole list with print(the_list)

>>> print(a)
[1, 4, 6, 2, 4, 6]
• We can concatenate a list with +
• but a is unchanged here; we create a new list

>>> print(a + [9, 9, 9, 9, 9])
[1, 4, 6, 2, 4, 6, 9, 9, 9, 9, 9]
• We can append
• but c is changed here

>>> c = 
>>> c.append(4)
>>> print(c)
[1, 4]
>>> c.append([9,9,9,9,9])
>>> print(c)
[1, 4, [9, 9, 9, 9, 9]]
• We can multiply the list

>>> print(a*3)
[1, 4, 6, 2, 4, 6, 1, 4, 6, 2, 4, 6, 1, 4, 6, 2, 4, 6]
• We can check equality

>>> print([1,2,3] == [1,2,3])
True
>>> print([1,2,3] == [3,2,1])
False
• We can find the max of the list

>>> print(max(a))
6
• We can find the min of a list

>>> print(min(a))
1
• We can sum up the contents

>>> print(sum(a))
23
• We can sort the list

>>> a.sort()
>>> print(a)    # WARNIG, WE CHANGED a NOW!
[1, 2, 4, 4, 6, 6]

REMEMBER, IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER WHAT YOU CAN/CAN’T DO WITH THEM, JUST TRY TO DO THINGS WITH THEM! If it works, cool, if not, whatever, no harm done.

Activity

Let’s take a step back for a sec and think about the algorithms for a sec.

1. If I asked you to tell me the sum of the contents of the list, what would you do?

2. Did you have to write that function?

3. Do you think Python magically knew what the sum was?

4. How do you think Python got you the answer?

5. Do you have enough tools in your tool-belt to write this function?

6. Write a function called my_sum that will sum up the contents of the list, but you’re not allowed to use the internal sum function.

Activity

How long does it take for my_sum to run?

Hint: how long would it take if the list had a length 10 versus 10,000?