We help IT Professionals succeed at work.
Get Started

how to understand recursion

Last Modified: 2016-02-24
I’ve been always having trouble to understand recursion. I know how to write some simple ones though.

Take this sum calculation Scala program for example. Please don’t answer this question based on the Scala specific implementation. I’d like to have a generic understanding on recursion.

1. It is calling sum(n-1) inside sum(n). Are they (sum(n) and sum(n-1)) using different instance of the same function?
2. How can the compiler understand this function when it is calling itself (sort of unfinished based on my view)?
3. What is the normal procedure of writing recursive functions (design recursive algorithms)?

Thank you!
Watch Question
Top Expert 2016
This problem has been solved!
Unlock 3 Answers and 12 Comments.
See Answers
Why Experts Exchange?

Experts Exchange always has the answer, or at the least points me in the correct direction! It is like having another employee that is extremely experienced.

Jim Murphy
Programmer at Smart IT Solutions

When asked, what has been your best career decision?

Deciding to stick with EE.

Mohamed Asif
Technical Department Head

Being involved with EE helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Carl Webster
CTP, Sr Infrastructure Consultant
Ask ANY Question

Connect with Certified Experts to gain insight and support on specific technology challenges including:

  • Troubleshooting
  • Research
  • Professional Opinions
Did You Know?

We've partnered with two important charities to provide clean water and computer science education to those who need it most. READ MORE