How to remember books [Computer Science]


(Marios Daskalas) #1

Hi, I would like to know books for the sole purpose of memorizing books, in particular, Computer Science books. Below I have attached some sample books that I am interested in memorizing. The depth that I want to achieve is to remember the main idea in most paragraphs. In addition, I would love to know what helped you the most when it comes to memorizing books in general. Thanks in advance.



Memory Sports
(selmo'i cu se nintadni) #2

First off, you can probably skip any code. If you absolutely want to memorize a code segment, it would almost certainly be better to just memorize the algorithm instead of the specific java syntax. Google, autocomplete, and familiarity from doing assignments and other stuff will be fine for using the correct syntax.


(Josh Cohen) #3

If you provide a few specific examples of what you’re trying to memorize, people might be able to offer ideas on how to memorize them.

I would start reading the book normally, without focusing too much on memory techniques, writing notes and typing out all the code examples. After the code runs, I would try to explain every detail of the code to an imaginary person to make sure I understand what it’s doing. Then you could add memorization for things that can be put in lists or for any parts that aren’t sticking in memory.

Example: if you find that you aren’t remembering how to create a Java program with an Account class (seen in the table of contents), you could create a journey or story to link together all the steps needed from creating the file, writing the code (getters, setters, or however Java works), to compiling the program and running it.

The process of typing out the code and running it is good for memorization, because there will be bugs and other problems that won’t be apparent just from reading the book. I think that the more painful a bug is, the more memorable the solution will be. :slight_smile:

I was looking through what I could see of the Java book, and you probably don’t need to memorize statements like “constructors cannot return values”. If you work through the exercises, you’ll probably pick up information like that without extra effort.

Memory techniques work well for things that can be put in lists. Here’s an example of a list you might find in a computer science book and how you could memorize it with a simple peg list:

OSI model:

Peg # Peg image Fact Mnemonic image
1 Candle Physical layer Burned by a candle while getting a physical at the doctor’s office
2 Swan Data link layer Data from Star Trek tying up a swan with chain links
3 Butterfly Network layer A butterfly getting tangled up in network wires
4 Sailboat Transport layer A sailboat being sent through a Star Trek transporter
5 Hook Session layer A hook lifting up a band at a jam session
6 Elephant Presentation layer An elephant giving a presentation on a projector
7 Boomerang Application layer Throwing a boomerang at a phone (app / application)

Using spaced repetition on the memorized material will also help.


(Marios Daskalas) #4

Thank you for your answer @Josh , that helped me. However, I am looking for a book that is designed for the sole purpose of memorizing other books. Do you have anything in mind? To become more specific let’s say that you want to memorize the first chapter of the “Software Engineering Design: Theory and Practice” book which you can see as a preview.


(Josh Cohen) #5

Where is the preview chapter? I didn’t see it on that page.


(Marios Daskalas) #6

Let’s analyze this sample that I found from this book. @Josh


(Josh Cohen) #7

The way I would do it is translate the dense text into bullet points with simple language:

There are 3 types of problems, and it’s important to distinguish between them:

  • well-defined problems – clearly defined goals with understood constraints
  • ill-defined problems – ambigous, but they can sometimes be turned into well-defined problems
  • wicked problems – no single problem formulation exists, no definite solutions, any solutions are not deemed correct or incorrect but only good or bad. Solutions often aren’t known until after the problem is solved.

The process of extracting that information from the text (along with an explanation to an imaginary person) helps with memorization. Then mnemonic images could be used to save the three keywords (“well”, “ill”, “wicked”) that will help to recall the definitions if they come up on a test.