Python Course Descriptions
Python is a free open source programming language that is easy to learn. The straightforward syntax uses indentation to clarify code structure. The language includes a vast body of pre-written functionality in the form of a Standard Library. Additionally, hundreds of other packages and modules contributed by the user community are freely available from the Python Package Index (pypi). Python’s popularity has grown dramatically in recent years due in part to the rising need to process large data sets or “Big Data.” The language and libraries are able to handle such problems with grace and speed and the code is portable across all popular operating systems.

Prerequisites: One or more of the following prerequisites should be used to guide students in selecting a Python course.

• Prior experience with any programming or scripting language,
• An engineering or scientific degree / vocation (STEM background),
• Instructor interview / approval.
Course I: Core Python Programming Competency The core Python course is designed to advance the student from no prior knowledge of Python programming to a functional ability to produce programmatic solutions. A 3-day course covering core language features is sufficient to give the student a firm understanding of typical programming constructs as well as sourcing and utilizing available documentation.

Course I syllabus includes the following topics:

• Setting up your Python development environment
• Introducing the interactive Python interpreter
• Variables and built-in functionality
• Developing competency to utilize documentation
• Working with the string data type
• Exploring operations defined for strings
• String formatting mechanisms
• Interactive programs with user input
• Program flow control structures
• Conditional branching, loops and iterators
• Sequence data types, list and tuple
• Defining functions
• Using dictionaries
• File input and output operations
• Object Oriented programming overview
• Creating a class definition and inheritance
• Exception handling with try blocks and associated clauses
• Debugging programs with pdb
• Context managers
• List comprehensions and lambda expressions
• Generators
• Optional topics †

Course II: Python Programming with Additional Science / Engineering Topics

The Core course also serves as the basis of a 4-day advanced class targeted to engineers and scientists who wish to process matrices and create 2D or 3D plotting in their work. This includes a look at interfacing with third party applications designed specifically for that purpose.

Course II syllabus includes all of the Course I syllabus plus the following topics:

• Introduction to the numpy package
• Introduction to the pandas package
• Introduction to the matplotlib package
• Interfacing with third party platforms: Octave and MATLAB®
• Optional topics †

Optional topics:

• Samples from the Standard Library
• Using Python to access a database programmatically
• Creating a GUI with Tkinter
• Other custom topics by prior arrangement

† Additional optional material may be substituted for later chapters, regarded as advanced techniques, in the Core course, or may be added to pad Course II as time permits. Optional topics may include other course customizations than those listed here. All syllabus modifications should be arranged before the start of the course delivery.

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