Programming in Python



Title:  “Programming in Python”

Location:  ARCE 620


Instructor: Nick Featherstone


Dates:  Wednesdays 11 am-12:30 pm, except for April 4, which is 10:30 am- 12:00 pm


Part 1:  March 14-April 4

Part 2:  April 11- May 2



Sponsored by:  Center for Research Data and Digital Scholarship (CRDDS) and Research Computing


This pair of short courses will provide an overview of Python fundamentals, split into two sessions, each meeting for an hour and a half for four weeks.  It is targeted at participants with prior experience programming in another language, but who wish to get up and running with Python.  Topics covered will include variables & objects, functions, conditionals, and loops. We will also discuss how to build custom Python modules and provide an overview of popular 3rd-party packages such as Numpy.  This course will combine lectures with interactive exercises.  It is available free of charge.  Participants must have the following knowledge to be able to participate:  be familiar with fundamental aspects of programming (loop structure, variables, basic data structures), and a laptop.

NOTE:  This course will not cover “how to program” – we that expect you have prior experience in another programming language, and that you want to transition to using Python.

Please visit  the following links to register 

Python Course Part 1:

Python Course Part 2: 

Registration closes March 7 or once full.  Due to anticipated demand, we ask that if you register for a short course you make a commitment to attend all sessions in the course.

Due to the brevity of these sessions, we will not be able to address issues related to a faulty Python installation in-class.  Attendees are expected to arrive with a functional installation of Python 3.x and the following packages installed on their laptop:  Numpy, Matplotlib, h5py, netCDF4, and Pandas.   Installation instructions will be emailed in advance of the course.  Those requiring assistance during the installation process should either attend the March 12 prep session or make a separate appointment by contacting Nick Featherstone (

Tentative Agenda:

March 12:  Prep session (optional)
Short Course, Part 1 (Programming Basics)
March 14:  Overview, variables, memory
March 21:  Conditionals, functions
March 28:  Loops, lists
April 4 (note time change):  Objects, modules
Short Course, Part 2 (Python packages):
Selected topics in this session will include numpy, data management with HDF5, matplotlib, and creating custom packages.  More information to follow.