I am reading a book called Principles of Computer Science (2008), by Carl Reynolds and Paul Tymann (published by Schaum's Outlines).
The second chapter introduces algorithms with an example of a sequential search which simply iterates through a list of names and returns TRUE if a given name is found in the list.
The author goes on to say (page 17):
We say that the "order of growth" of the sequential search algorithm is n. The notation for this is T(n). We also say that an algorithm whose order of growth is within some constant factor of T(n) has a theta of NL say. "The sequential search has a theta of n." The size of the problem is n, the length of the list being searched.
I find this really hard to follow. The book is riddled with errors, so I am not sure if I am missing something or if the there is a typo in the paragraph above. In general English I rarely see any sentence end with "...say".
I am very confused.
What does T stand for? The book does not explain. Is it for Time or for Theta?
If "a theta of NL" means "The sequential search has a theta of n." What does L stand for? 'Linear' or 'length'?
I have written to the publishers asking for an explanation. They said they would forward my message to authors. They have not replied. I have also tried looking at other sources but I still get the naggling feeling that I am misunderstanding something - so cannot rest until I have decoded this paragraph.
If anyone has a copy of that book, and has understood that paragraph. Then, I'd appreciate if you could let me know if that paragraph is accurate or explain it in other words. Thanks.