Lesson 5

Welcome to this quick but exciting lesson on **Bit Manipulation Techniques**. Bit manipulation is a powerful technique used in programming to efficiently solve problems that may seem complex or resource-intensive at first. By examining and manipulating the binary representations of data, we can come up with solutions that satisfy the problem requirements and maintain good time and space complexity.

In this lesson, we'll practice techniques such as setting and clearing bits, counting set bits, and bit masking. We will be using `Python`

, a programming language that has simple and easy-to-read syntax, to illustrate these techniques.

Take a look at the preview problem:

Python`1def count_set_bits(n): 2 count = 0 3 while n: 4 n &= (n - 1) 5 count += 1 6 return count`

This function counts the number of set bits (`1`

s) in the binary representation of a number. The `&`

operator is used for the bitwise AND operation. The `n - 1`

operation flips the least significant bit (the rightmost `1`

bit in the binary representation) of `n`

to `0`

, and `n &= (n - 1)`

applies this change to `n`

. The `while`

loop continues until `n`

becomes `0`

, and for each iteration, the count is increased, tracking the number of set bits.

For example, consider `n = 6`

, which is `110`

in binary:

`n - 1`

is`5`

(`101`

in binary);- The bitwise AND operation
`110 & 101`

results in`100`

.

Now, it's time to roll up your sleeves and put these techniques into practice. Our exercises will challenge you and help deepen your understanding of bit manipulation. Remember, the goal is not just to learn how to solve specific problems but to understand the fundamentals of bit manipulation and how to apply this knowledge to solve a wide variety of problems. Let's get started!