Brandon Rozek

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PhD Student @ RPI studying Automated Reasoning in AI and Linux Enthusiast.

Lecture for January 18

Variables and Assignment

Think about variables as buckets that hold information. Once the bucket is created, only one type of item can go in the bucket.

sand bucket1;

We can say that bucket1 is of type sand, that means the only thing that can go in the bucket is sand.

int bucket1;
double bucket2;

From the two lines above, we have declared the variable.

Variables store state, they are a name for a location in memory.

Always remember to initialize your variables. Otherwise there’s nothing in the bucket!

bucket1 = 5;

You can combine both the declaration and initialization

int count = 15;

Remember when dealing with variables to stay true with the type, don’t mix a bucket of water with a bucket of sand.

We can update count to contain a true value

count = 55;

count no longer has the value of 15 in it. There’s no record of it! It has been overwritten with the value 55

Primitive Types

There are 8 primitive types in Java

byte through double are all numeric types


boolean can only be equal to true or false

boolean student = true;


Stores a single character from the Unicode set

There are 16 bits per character which adds up to 65,536 characters

ASCII is the US subset of the characters. You can look this up online when needing to deal with ASCII values

char firstLetter = 'A';

Numeric types

The different numeric types determine the precision of your number. Since numbers are not represented the same in the computer as they are in real life, there are some approximations.

The default type you can use your code is int for integers and double for numbers with a decimal point

There are certain types of operations you can perform on numeric type

Symbol Meaning Example Value
+ addition 43 + 8 51
- subtraction 43.0-8.0 35.0
* multiplication 43 * 8 344
/ division 43.0 / 8.0 5.375
% remainder / mod 43 % 8 3
- unary minus -43 -43

Increment/ Decrement

There are two types of in/decrementers postfix and prefix


int x = 0;
int y = 7;
x++; // Shortcut for x = x + 1
y--; // Shortcut for y = y - 1


int x = 0, y = 7, z;
z = y * x++; // Equivalent to (y * x) + 1 = 7 * 0
z = y * ++x; // Equivalent to y * (x + 1) = 7 * 1

Data Conversion

There are two types of data conversion, implicit and explicit

The compiler can perform implicit data conversion automatically.

Performing an explicit data conversion requires additional work on the programmer’s part

A conversion is implicit if you do not lose any information in it

double price = 6.99;
int sale = 3;
double total = price - sale;

A cast is an explicit data conversion. This is requested by a programmer, this can lead to loss of information

int nextChar = 'b';
Character.isAlphabetic( (char) nextChar); // Let's you print the actual letter 'b' instead of the number corresponding to it

float price = 6.99;
int cost = (int) price; // cost is now 6

Printing variables

You can print the values of variables using System.out.println and System.out.print

The difference is that System.out.println adds a new line at the end. Meaning the next print out will be on the next line.

int cost = 5;
double sale = .30;
// Prints out '5.30`
// Prints out '5'
// Prints out '0.30'

To add a space between two variables in a print, add " " to the expression in between the two variables

System.out.println("The total cost is " + 5 " dollars and" + " " + 93 + " cents");
// The total cost is 5 dollars and 94 cents

Input from User

You can get import from the user, we can do this using the Scanner class.

First import it at the top of your file

import java.util.Scanner;

All you can do with Scanner is outlined in the Java API at this link https://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/index.html?java/util/Scanner.html

Create a Scanner object

Scanner input = new Scanner(System.in);
System.out.print("Please enter an integer: ");
price = input.nextInt(); // The integer that the user inputs is now stored in price
System.out.println("Your input: " + price);