Python is a programming language used for a wide variety of applications including scientific computation, image processing, text processing, file handling, graphics, database handling, and web interfaces. It is designed to be elegant, concise, and easy to learn, while offering many advanced features.
This workshop is an introduction to Python, and to the resources you need to start learning and using Python, for those with little or no programming experience. The workshop meets four times (1.5 hours per session, six hours total -- participants should commit to attending all four sessions).
Workshop format: Mostly lecture format, with interludes for brief in-class programming exercises so participants can begin to experience Python for themselves.
Target audience: This workshop assumes no previous programming experience, though some participants with limited programming experience may still find the workshop useful as a guided introduction to specifics of the Python programming language.
Knowledge prerequisites: The workshop assumes no previous programming experience, though some participants with limited programming experience still find the workshop useful.
Hardware/Software prerequisites: Participants who want to follow along with the examples and exercises should bring their own laptops and have installed the Anaconda Python distribution ahead of time. Instructions for installing Anaconda, running Jupyter, downloading and viewing a notebook, and verifying that your setup is successful can be found on this advance setup guide. In particular, participants should make sure that they can do the following before the workshop:
- Start Jupyter
- Download and display a Jupyter notebook (aka iPython notebook)
Those who need additional help installing Anaconda Python, running Jupyter, or viewing an iPython notebook should contact the instructor or request assistance at a Research Computing Help Session.
Participants without Anaconda installed on their laptops can instead run Jupyter Notebooks remotely using the “myadroit” web interface to the Adroit computing cluster. To access myadroit, you should first register for an account on Adroit, as described in the “Web Portal” section of this guide. Then, connect to “myadroit” and start a Jupyter session, as described here.
Learning objectives: Participants will become familiar with basic programming concepts, some general and some specific to Python. These will include various data types such as strings, integers, floats, lists, and dictionaries; and statements such as import, if/else, for, and try/except. They will also be made aware of various add-on modules for Python such as numpy for numerical calculations and matplotlib for plotting.