Programming Fundamentals/Arrays

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This lesson introduces arrays.

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for this lesson include:

  • Understand single and multi-dimensional arrays
  • Understand dynamic arrays
  • Understand associative arrays
  • Use arrays to implement program functionality


  1. Rebus: Programming Fundamentals
  2. Wikipedia: Array data type
  3. Wikipedia: Dynamic array
  4. Wikipedia: Associative array


  1. YouTube: Arrays
  2. YouTube: Programming For Beginners - Arrays
  3. YouTube: Programming Basics #31 Working with Arrays
  4. YouTube: Programming For Beginners - Dictionaries and Hashes



Complete the following activities using pseudocode, a flowcharting tool, or your selected programming language. Use separate functions for input, each type of processing, and output. Avoid global variables by passing parameters and returning results. Create test data to validate the accuracy of each program. Add comments at the top of the program and include references to any resources used.

  1. Review MathsIsFun: Definition of Average. Create a program that asks the user to enter grade scores. Start by asking the user how many scores they would like to enter. Then use a loop to request each score and add it to a static (fixed-size) array. After the scores are entered, calculate and display the high, low, and average for the entered scores.
  2. Review MathsIsFun: Leap Years. Create a program that asks the user for a year, and then calculate whether or not the given year is a leap year. Build an array where each entry is the number of days in the corresponding month (January = 31, February = 28 or 29 depending on year, March = 31, etc.). Build a parallel string array with the names of each month. Then ask the user to enter a month number, and look up the corresponding month name and number of days and display the information. Continue accepting input and displaying results until the user enters a number less than 1 or greater than 12.[1]
  3. Review Wikipedia: Zeller's congruence. Create a program that asks the user for their birthday (year, month, and day) and then calculate and display the day of the week on which they were born. Use an array lookup to convert the numeric day of the week to the correct string representation (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.).
  4. Review Khan Academy: A guessing game. Write a program that allows the user to think of a number between 0 and 100, inclusive. Then have the program try to guess their number. Start at the midpoint (50) and ask the user if their number is (h)igher, (l)ower, or (e)qual to the guess. If they indicate lower, guess the new midpoint (25). If they indicate higher, guess the new midpoint (75). Record each guess in an an array and continue efficiently guessing higher or lower until they indicate equal, then display the list of guesses required to guess their number and end the program.
  5. Review Wikipedia: Monty Hall problem. Create a program that uses an array to simulate the three doors. Use 0 (zero) to indicate goats and 1 (one) to indicate the car. Clear each "door" and then use a random number function to put the number 1 in one of the array elements. Then use the random number function to randomly select one of the three elements. Run the simulation in a loop 100 times to confirm a 1/3 chance of winning. Then run the simulation again, this time switching the selection after a 0 (goat) is removed from the remaining choices. Run the simulation in a loop 100 times to confirm a 2/3 chance of winning by switching.
  6. If your programming language supports it, use a built-in sort function to sort the grade scores from the activity above and display the array in order from highest score to lowest score.
  7. If your programming language supports it, update one or more of the programs above to replace the static array with a dynamic array, and extend the array as each item is added to the array. Continue accepting scores until the user enters no value (empty input).


See Also[edit]


  1. Farrell, J. (2015). Programming Logic and Design, Introductory, 8th Edition. Cengage. ISBN 9781285845777