think about how you would do it by hand. if i gave you a stack of papers, each witha number written on it, how would you find the largest? the second largest?

there are a couple of ways... you could do it with three passes through the data, each time saving the largest of what's left.

or, it could be done in one pass, if you think about how to store the info...

but write out in english how you would do it, then use that to help figure out the code

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors

cs thiang
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Joined: Jan 31, 2006
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Originally posted by fred rosenberger: think about how you would do it by hand. if i gave you a stack of papers, each witha number written on it, how would you find the largest? the second largest?

there are a couple of ways... you could do it with three passes through the data, each time saving the largest of what's left.

or, it could be done in one pass, if you think about how to store the info...

but write out in english how you would do it, then use that to help figure out the code

Hmm...the Math.max method can only compare 2 integer...how to have it to compare 8?

First, out of the array of 8 integer, i take out the largest one. then, out of the 7 , i take out the largest again. lastly, out of the 6, i take out the largest.

But here comes another qn, how do i take away, coz the numbers in the array are random and how do i get the loop not to count the one that i wanted to take out? [ January 31, 2006: Message edited by: cs thiang ]

Your brain can only compare two integers at a time. you may think you can do 3, 4, or 8 at a time, but really what you're doing is comparing two, remembering which of the two is bigger, and comparing THAT one to the next, and so on...

First, out of the array of 8 integer, i take out the largest one. then, out of the 7 , i take out the largest again. lastly, out of the 6, i take out the largest.

But here comes another qn, how do i take away, coz the numbers in the array are random and how do i get the loop not to count the one that i wanted to take out?

[ January 31, 2006: Message edited by: cs thiang ]

I think this is closer to what Fred was trying to get you to think about. To answer your question, you cannot remove an element from an array since an array has a fixed size. Can you come up with a way to make it LOOK like you remove an element from an array? Let's put this in terms of Java and say you want to write a method with the following signature:

Again, you should step back and describe the steps it would take to do this. I think Fred's illustration is very apt. If we gave you a stack of papers with numbers written on them, how would you find the maximum value in the stack?

I hope this helps get the cogs turning for you. Good luck with this.