What to expect in 71 Python

Objectives of these lessons

  1. Get those of you who would not have programmed to start using programming (Low hanging fruit)
    • Your code does not have to be super-efficient.
    • You can borrow code from the internet. However, you should know what it is doing even if you do not know how the code works.
  2. Enhance your analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities by learning to breakdown a problem into smaller, more manageable tasks.
  3. Learn a new set of programming skills:
    1. to help learn science better (for instance by modelling)
    2. to serve as a useful tool to make your (other) work more efficient.

What topic to discuss

The Python Universe is huge. Our intentions with in this course is to share the minimum necessary for you to do useful things with Python while still having fun. The material in this website is not exhaustive nor do we want them to be. There are better, more complete resources elsewhere (official Python documentation that you should use for reference.

Python allows for many ways to achieve the same result. However, we cannot discuss everything about Python. Instead, we will get you started and show you how to find information to solve problems.

Plan for this semester

Here are what we have in store for you the rest of this semester.

Week Topic
Week 8 Warm-up and File Manipulation
Week 9 Plotting with Matplotlib
Week 10 Data Analysis & Statistics with Pandas
Week 11 Curve Fitting
Week 12 Web Scraping & APIs (Yeo Zhen Yuan)

Typical flow for a session

Here how we will run the Python sessions for 71.

  1. At home: Follow the pre-session instructions to prepare for the session.

  2. During Class:

    Time Activity
    16:00 - 16:05 Introduction
    16:05 - 17:30 (Breakout Rooms) – Quick briefing and Q & A by mentors
    – Solve problems related to the topic.
    17:30 - 17:40 Q & A
    17:40 Session ends

The rationale for this arrangement is to allow you to get support (within the current restrictions) from the staff & mentors when you are trying to solve a problem using programming.

We will also provide a task to work at home, so that you may get more practice.


Python code is shown in a grey box like this:

print('Code is shown in a box like this')

A # will be used to show the result (or output) of the code. This will appear immediately after the code, like this:

print('Code is shown in a box like this')
# Code is shown in a box like this