Online Python Resources                                        Jonathan Fine                                    LTS, The O...
Python taught here!We’ll look at five places where you can learn Python. They mostly havedifferent purposes (with some overl...
Codecademy Python lesson Jonathan Fine (Open University)   Online Python Resources   29 September 2012   3 / 21
From Eric Weinstein on Variables and Data TypesLearn: Here’s the text and instruction.One of the most basic concepts in co...
CodecademyFounded in 2011 by two young geeks (Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski).Based in New York. Received $12.5 million of ve...
Coursera: Learn to Program – screencast Jonathan Fine (Open University)   Online Python Resources   29 September 2012   6 ...
Coursera: Learn to ProgramTaught by Jennifer Campbell and Paul Gries, Senior Lectures at theUniversity of Toronto. It’s a ...
About CourseraFounded by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford, with $16 millionof venture capital funding in April 20...
Python Summer School screencast Jonathan Fine (Open University)   Online Python Resources   29 September 2012   9 / 21
Python Summer SchoolSet up by UK school teachers Sue Sentance, Adam McNicol and SophieBaker. Based in East Anglia. Provide...
SciPy Lecture Notes – Bar ChartsPart of a 310 page (as PDF) training document, authored using Sphinx. Jonathan Fine (Open ...
About SciPyThe SciPy Lecture Notes are genuinely open-source (on github).SciPy is a large and growing collection of scient...
John Hunter – creator of matplotlib                                                    Sadly, John Hunter, creator of     ...
Advanced Scientific Programming in Python SummerSchoolThis is a six-day school held annually, with lectures from 08.30 to 1...
Software Carpentry – First Class Functions Jonathan Fine (Open University)   Online Python Resources   29 September 2012  ...
Software Carpentry Python — formatThe general format of this course is a series of lessons. They share ageneral format, wh...
Software Carpentry Python — syllabusThe syllabus consist of:      Basics      Control Flow      Lists      Input and Outpu...
About Software CarpentryFounded by Greg Wilson in 1998, Software Carpentry is now team of overtwenty people, mostly associ...
Getting Started with DjangoThe Django web-framework, along with Python itself, has some of thebest online documentation. B...
Python visualizerhttp://pythontutor.com/ (by Philip Guo, over 100,000 users) Jonathan Fine (Open University)   Online Pyth...
Students and Resources in 2013Here are some very rough (and optimistic) estimates for students in 2013.Global demand unles...
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Online Python Resources

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Online Python Resources

  1. 1. Online Python Resources Jonathan Fine LTS, The Open University Milton Keynes, UK Jonathan.Fine@open.ac.uk http://www.slideshare.net/jonathanfine http://jonathanfine.wordpress.com https://bitbucket.org/jfine 29 September 2012Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 1 / 21
  2. 2. Python taught here!We’ll look at five places where you can learn Python. They mostly havedifferent purposes (with some overlap).We’ll look at them in alphabetical order. Codecademy Coursera: Learn to Program Python Summer School SciPy Lecture Notes Software CarpentryWe’ll finish with a quick look at Django and pythontutor.com.For more information, take a look at the resource survey http://online-python-resources.readthedocs.organd please think about contributing. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 2 / 21
  3. 3. Codecademy Python lesson Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 3 / 21
  4. 4. From Eric Weinstein on Variables and Data TypesLearn: Here’s the text and instruction.One of the most basic concepts in computer programming is the variable.[. . . ] You can set a variable, say spam, to grasp the value 5 and hang ontoit for later use, like this:spam = 5[. . . ]Set the variable my_variable to the value 10.Hit the ”run” button to execute your code.Teach: Presumably, the submission correctness test is that after thesubmission is executed, the variable my_variable is defined. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 4 / 21
  5. 5. CodecademyFounded in 2011 by two young geeks (Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski).Based in New York. Received $12.5 million of venture capital funding.Business model not known (but it gives its users points, likeStackOverflow).Codecademy supplies a platform. Its users can learn and teach.Learn: On a web page your read about the subject and then write codein text area on the page. Then you submit your answer and told if it’sright or wrong.Teach: Again, a web interface (no API yet, it seems). Besides writingabout the subject, the teacher has to write a submission correctness test(using the language being taught).Millions of students in more than one hundred countries. Tens ofthousands of teachers. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 5 / 21
  6. 6. Coursera: Learn to Program – screencast Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 6 / 21
  7. 7. Coursera: Learn to ProgramTaught by Jennifer Campbell and Paul Gries, Senior Lectures at theUniversity of Toronto. It’s a 7 week class, with a workload of 6–8 hours aweek. There’s an hour or two of video lecture each week, weekly gradedexercises and a (non-optional) final exam.The exercises are a mixture of multiple choice, tick all that are correct, andwrite down precisely the correct answer. They are marked by a computer.The main goal is to learn computational thinking, and Python 3 is thelanguage they’re using to teach this. Uses Python visualizer (see later).If you pass, you’ll get a certificate (and you’ll be able to developinteractive text-based programs such as a word search game).The syllabus, oddly, is not publicly viewable. But from the above you canfigure out what it has to cover.50,000 students enrolled in the first presentation. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 7 / 21
  8. 8. About CourseraFounded by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford, with $16 millionof venture capital funding in April 2012. Currently free to users.Business model may be to offer premium services such as certification,secure assessment, services to employers, licensing, sponsorship, andcharging for use.Currently offering 195 courses from 33 universities in the US, Canadaand Europe, in subjects such as Computer Science, Humanities, Economicsand Business.(Speaker has taken course in Quantum Mechanics and QuantumComputation from Professor Umesh Vazirani of Berkley.)More than 1,000,000 students from 196 countries have enrolled todate. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 8 / 21
  9. 9. Python Summer School screencast Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 9 / 21
  10. 10. Python Summer SchoolSet up by UK school teachers Sue Sentance, Adam McNicol and SophieBaker. Based in East Anglia. Provides free online materials. Also providelow cost evening (about £15 an evening) or free (sponsored by Google)weekend courses.They provide resources for teaching Computer Programming at GCSE andA-Level. Their website provides materials that help teachers understandwhat students need to know, and to update their teaching and technicalskills.They provide a five-day program of lessons that goes from Using Idleand Data types in Python, going via SQL and testing, and finishingwith PyQt, Mulitple Inheritance and Event Handling.Their next evening classes start on Tuesday 2nd October (Chelmsford).Their next two workshop are 2–3 November (Chelmsford) amd 21–22December (Cambridge). Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 10 / 21
  11. 11. SciPy Lecture Notes – Bar ChartsPart of a 310 page (as PDF) training document, authored using Sphinx. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 11 / 21
  12. 12. About SciPyThe SciPy Lecture Notes are genuinely open-source (on github).SciPy is a large and growing collection of scientific and numeric software.There are annual SciPy (in the USA) and EuroSciPy conferences. Theyare a community, and they share.The basic component in SciPy is the multidimensional array provide byNumPy.SciPy is the place to go for using Python for heavy-duty numerical analysis plotting physical simulation data visualisationmatplotlib is a plotting library that is part of SciPy. It allows dynamicdata plots to be embedded into applications using generic GUI toolkits. Italso supports SVG. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 12 / 21
  13. 13. John Hunter – creator of matplotlib Sadly, John Hunter, creator of matplotlib, died on August 28th 2012 from complications arising from necessary cancer treatment. This was a big surprise. In recognition of his work, the Python Software Foundation posthumously gave him the Distinguished Service Award. In addition, the NumFOCUS Foundation has set up a John Hunter Memorial Fund to help care for and educate his three children. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 13 / 21
  14. 14. Advanced Scientific Programming in Python SummerSchoolThis is a six-day school held annually, with lectures from 08.30 to 18.30.Organised by the German Neuroinformatics Node and a host institution.Participants are expected to know already the first 80 (of 310) pages ofthe SciPy Lecture Notes. This year, out of 141 applicants 30 wereaccepted. There were 12 tutors. The topics for each day were: Best Programming Practices Software Carpentry Scientific Tools for Python The Quest for Speed Efficient Memory Management Practical Software Development Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 14 / 21
  15. 15. Software Carpentry – First Class Functions Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 15 / 21
  16. 16. Software Carpentry Python — formatThe general format of this course is a series of lessons. They share ageneral format, which is a web page containing a video screencast of about 3 to 10 minutes and images of the associated slides and the associated narrative textThe screencasts are also available on YouTube, and the slides are availablealso in PDF and PowerPoint. It seems that the slides are authored inPowerPoint, which are narrated to produce the screencast.The Exercises are static text. Solutions are not provided. Some of theexercises are questions and answers about the language. Others consist ofsolving toy version of real-world problems. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 16 / 21
  17. 17. Software Carpentry Python — syllabusThe syllabus consist of: Basics Control Flow Lists Input and Output Strings Aliasing Functions First-Class Functions Libraries Tuples Slicing Text Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 17 / 21
  18. 18. About Software CarpentryFounded by Greg Wilson in 1998, Software Carpentry is now team of overtwenty people, mostly associated with universities in North America andUK.Their mission is to help scientists be more productive by teaching thembasic computing skills. Thet combine short, intensive workshops withself-paced online instructionThey are currently supported by the Sloan Foundation and by Mozilla, andhave received funding from Microsoft and the Python SoftwareFoundation, among others.Their materials are licensed under the Creative Commons AttributionLicense. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 18 / 21
  19. 19. Getting Started with DjangoThe Django web-framework, along with Python itself, has some of thebest online documentation. But that’s not enough now.In September 2012 the Django Software Foundation announced that itwas donatingn $2,000 to Kenneth Love’s Kickstarter campaign to producea series of videos called Getting Started with Django.This campaign, launched on August 24, now (26 September) has $13,000pledged. They’re now working on producing between 5 and 10 hours ofvideo.Conclusions A popular project can raise money quickly . . . . . . if the project and backers are credible (Kenneth Love is). Production of an hour of good quality video costs perhaps $2,000. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 19 / 21
  20. 20. Python visualizerhttp://pythontutor.com/ (by Philip Guo, over 100,000 users) Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 20 / 21
  21. 21. Students and Resources in 2013Here are some very rough (and optimistic) estimates for students in 2013.Global demand unless otherwise stated. Casual interest in programming — 2,000,000. Taking first steps in Python — 200,000. Second steps in Python, Learning Django — don’t know. UK teachers learning Python for GCSE/A-level — 2,000 Intensive 5-day course in SciPy — 500.Some rough figures about resources. Hosting on bitbucket / github / ReadTheDocs — free. Good quality 20 line code example — 4 hours? One hour of good quality video — $2,000. Kickstarter pledges Fletcher Heisler’s e-book Practical Python / Python By Example — $21,000. Venture capital funded startup — $15 million. Jonathan Fine (Open University) Online Python Resources 29 September 2012 21 / 21

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