Ed's Big Plans

Computing for Science and Awesome

Python Crash Course – Lesson 1

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The first lecture of my Python Crash Course went really well! I ran it two evenings ago in the Dean’s Conference Room.

In gearing the very first lecture for absolute beginners, I had very little to cater to BIC (Bioinformatics Club) members. I however took the opportunity to discuss with them about the SOLVER group (more on that later); many of which seemed interested.

Overall there were roughly a dozen people that turned out, including Ariana, my TA partner from last term. There were about four iGEM members and six BIC members.

I also took the opportunity to poll for the kinds of things that students wanted to learn. Here are my findings.

  • Object Orientation is something everyone wants to know– especially the people coming in with a Javascript, PERL, C, C++ and Scheme background; I was surprised that the C++ people didn’t get exposure to thinking in objects earlier.
  • The beginners came in two groups. First, there are the ones who are happy to learn anything as long as it can be applied later.
  • The second group of beginners want to data crunch PDBs, SDFs, FASTAs, Nucleotides etc.

In week two, we’ll take care of object orientation and in week three, we’ll take care of everything anyone ever needs to know about input output in order to do data crunching. I have added a link in the navigation of this blog for the Python Crash Courseware which will eventually include all the PDFs, code modules and examples used in class.

Oh right, I don’t know if I’ll get around to it– but I am missing instructions for setting environment variables in Windows. Perhaps I will add it later when I have time.

(iGEM attendees were John Heil, Danielle Nash, Tiffany and Lina; BIC members included Fiona, James and about four others whose names I have forgotten.)

Edit: Direct link to Python Crash Courseware; Direct link to Week 1: A Mad Mad Introduction, PDF.

Eddie Ma

January 9th, 2010 at 9:00 pm