Introduction to Programming (CPSC 124)
—Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Fall 2014
Thursday Lab #5
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Due by 2:59 pm on Friday, 10/03/2014)

Arrays: A Few Examples

Run each of the following programs, several times each, varying your choice of inputs in a way that exercises the different behaviors. First, an example that uses arrays as lookup tables (in this case, month names and maximum day values). There are also two example of the "literal creation" form.

public class DateFormat {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
        int y = Integer.parseInt(args[0]);  
        int m = Integer.parseInt(args[1]);
        int d = Integer.parseInt(args[2]);

        // First, we'll validate the date itself:
        int[] maxDays = new int[]{31,28,31,30,31,30,31,31,30,31,30,31};
        boolean leapYear = (y %4 == 0) && (y % 100 != 0 || y %400 == 0);
        if (leapYear) {
            maxDays[1] = 29;
        boolean valid = (1 <= m && m <= 12);    // valid month?
        valid = valid && (1 <= d);              // Is d >= 1 ?
        valid = valid && (d <= maxDays[m-1]);   // Is d no bigger than the max?
        if (!valid) {
            System.out.println("Sorry.  Invalid Date");
        } else {
            // Now we'll print the formatted date (which we know is valid)
            String[] monthNames = new String[]{"January", "February", "March", 
                                                "April", "May", "June", "July", 
                                                "August", "September", 
                                                "October", "November", 
            System.out.println(monthNames[m-1]+ " " + d + ", " + y);
   } // end of main()      
} // end of class DateFormat

Pay special attention to the declaration and usage of the variables maxDays and monthNames. Both of these variables have an array type, the first an array of int values, the second an array of String.

Here's another one, similar to last week's lab problem of finding an average, but this time, we're going to calculate the median of a bunch of numbers (the median is the value that divides the set in half—half of the other numbers are below the median, and half are equal to or greater than it). Like the "average" problem, we'll make this one interactive, rather than read values from the command line. One significant difference from that problem is that we need to know in advance how many numbers to read:

import java.util.Scanner;

public class Median {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Scanner inp = new Scanner(;

        System.out.print("How many values?");
        int sz = inp.nextInt();  // we'll ignore error handling here
        double[] nums = new double[sz];
        System.out.print("Numbers (letter to quit):  ");
        int i = 0; 
        while (i < nums.length) {
            nums[i] = inp.nextDouble();
            i = i + 1;
        //  Now we have an array containing all the values entered.  We just 
        //  need to sort them and pick the middle value. 
        //  Luckily, there's a built-in method for sorting!
        int mid = nums.length/2;
    } // end of main()      
} // end of class Median

These two examples illustrate everything we can do with an array:

Your Job

  1. Modify the DateFormat program so that it handles bad input (i.e. too few arguments or non-integer arguments) using exception handling.

  2. Modify the Median program so that there is a second loop, after the numbers are read but before they are sorted. This loop should print out every number in the array, with a "," separating each value.

    For a truly satisfying version, write this "print out" code so that there are only commas separating the values: no trailing comma at the end.

Turn In

John H. E. Lasseter