The book's unique approach of separating the interface (how to use a data structure) and the implementation (how to program a structure) of each data structure into parts has been hailed by both professors and students as an outstanding and efficient way of teaching data structures. Professor Mark Allen Weiss continues with this approach in the third edition of Data Structures and Problem Solving Using Java by introducing concepts in four parts. Part 1 (tour of Java), Part 2 (Algorithms and Building Blocks), and Part 3 (Applications) lay the groundwork by discussing basic concepts and tools and providing some practical examples. Implementation of data structures is not shown until Part 4 (Implementations). This practical approach forces the student to think abstractly about the functionality of the data structures before implementing them.
This edition incorporates the many enhancements of Java 5.0. It includes coverage of generic programming and of the design of generic collection classes. The book is appropriate for students who are familiar with basic Java programming concepts or are new to the language and want to learn how it treats data structures concepts.