About this Course
4.6
1,649 ratings
596 reviews
The goal of the course is to introduce students to Python Version 3.x programming using hands on instruction. It will show how to install Python and use the Spyder IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for writing and debugging programs. The approach will be to present an example followed by a small exercise where the learner tries something similar to solidify a concept. At the end of each module there will be an exercise where the student is required to write simple programs and submit them for grading. It is intended for students with little or no programming background, although students with such a background should be able to move forward at their preferred pace. The course is four modules long and is designed to be completed in four weeks....
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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 4-5 hours/week

Approx. 13 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

Python ProgrammingPython Syntax And SemanticsPython LibrariesComputer Programming
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 4-5 hours/week

Approx. 13 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
5 hours to complete

Beginning to Program in Python

In this module we introduce writing functions in Python using the convenient Spyder development environment. The lesson begins with instructions on installing the popular Anaconda distribution of Python, which includes Spyder. It continues by showing how to use the editor in Spyder to type in a function and then run it. Each lesson alternates between introducing a concept by example and having the student test his/her understanding by constructing a function similar to that example. The module lecture is contained in a single program source file named Exercises1.py. This file, which should be downloaded by the student at the beginning of the module, contains the complete lecture except the solutions to the ungraded exercises. The student should work each of these before viewing the instructor's solution. By using the unique capability of Spyder (using IPython Notebooks), the program file is segmented into cells each of which can be executed independently of the others. Thus the student does not have to manage multiple program files and finishes with a lecture file with filled-in student exercises that can be used for reference. Python topics included in this module are print statement, arithmetic operators, input statement, combining of strings, if statement, while loop, and for loop. The module ends with a series of small functions to write to be submitted for grading. Grading is done by custom software and should normally take only minutes with no limit to the number of re-submissions. Hopefully, you'll finish with a perfect score....
Reading
10 videos (Total 67 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
Video10 videos
Introduction to the Spyder IDE10m
Arithmetic operations1m
Our first functions4m
Creating strings and using them in print statements.7m
The "input" statement and combining strings5m
Using the "if" statement11m
Converting strings to numbers. Using the remainder operator10m
Introduction to loops - the "while" loop5m
The "for" loop; tracking down errors6m
Reading5 readings
Setting up Spyder10m
Starting Python. Our first lecture and exercise file.10m
Exercises1.py -- the exercise/lecture file for this module.10m
Note about a minor problem with Spyder10m
Practice functions for debugging Python code10m

2

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Working with Lists and Importing Libraries. The Random library.

Lists, datatypes, libraries, the random library....
Reading
9 videos (Total 59 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video9 videos
Lists continued5m
Stepping through lists using loops2m
Introduction to datatypes3m
Converting datatypes2m
Working with lists of sublists; writing a small report8m
Lists continued9m
Introduction to libraries. The random library.7m
More on Loops and Append10m
Reading1 reading
Exercises 2 -- the exercise/lecture file for this module.10m

3

Section
Clock
5 hours to complete

Tuples, Data Dictionaries, Text and CSV Files

So far, we have one collection data type, the list. In this module we take up two more: the tuple and the data dictionary. After that we introduce reading and writing text files and give some illustrative examples. Finally, we take up reading and writing Comma Separated Value (CSV) files....
Reading
7 videos (Total 69 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Reading and writing files6m
Running Python Programs (Windows)5m
Installing Environments on a Mac5m
Running Python Programs (Mac)3m
Writing scripts in Python17m
Reading and writing CSV files19m
Reading5 readings
Exercises3.py -- The exercise/lecture file for this module.10m
Python files needed for this module.10m
Text and CSV files used during this module.10m
FAQ/Errata: Change in Spyder; Running in a Command Prompt10m
If python does not run, read this file.10m

4

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Functional Values, Sorting, Formatting, Statistics, and a Menu Driven Database Program

In this lesson, we take up a variety of topics and give an example using much of what we've covered in the course. First, we show how functions can return values. Then we show how to build lists of various types and how to sort these lists. After that we use the statistic library to introduce basic descriptive statistics. Finally, we show how to use formatting in print statements. As a recap, we work through an application making use of what we've learned to build a menu-driven program that maintains a small database....
Reading
10 videos (Total 62 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video10 videos
Descriptive statistics15m
Formatting print statements5m
Starting the database application7m
Displaying the records4m
Adding and deleting records5m
Editing records3m
Saving records to a CSV file1m
Loading the records from the CSV file4m
Running our database application as a stand-alone program2m
Reading2 readings
Exercises4.py -- the exercise/lecture file for this module.10m
Additional program and data files needed for this module.10m
4.6
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Top Reviews

By LRJan 4th 2017

Quite interesting introduction to Python, focusing on the most important components of the language. Looking forward to other courses using the same format. Thank you Bill and team for your hard work.

By SADec 31st 2017

It is well done but it is very basic. The method is good since we get the basic programs to work with them and follow the lectures. The instructor explains things in a detailed and clear manner.

Instructor

Bill Boyd

Visiting Associate Professor and Visiting Scholar
Quantitative Analysis Center

About Wesleyan University

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Frequently Asked Questions

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