Three Homework Problems

September 18, 2015

We have three simple exercises today to help beginning programmers with their homework; all three exercises have appeared on beginning-programmer forums in the last week:

1) Write a recursive function to find the sum of the first n odd integers. For instance, if n = 2, the first two odd integers are 1 and 3, and their sum is 4.

2) Write a function to count the frequence of characters in a string. For instance, given the string “hello” the function should return counts of 1, 1, 2 and 1 for h, e, l and o.

3) Write functions that encrypt and decrypt messages in a Caesar cipher. Input consists of upper-case letters and spaces; the “key” is an integer giving the number of letters to shift. For instance, the message ATTACK AT DAWN with a shift of 5 is enciphered as FYYFHP FY IFBS.

Your task is to solve the three homework exercises given above. When you are finished, you are welcome to read or run a suggested solution, or to post your own solution or discuss the exercise in the comments below.