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Python Programming for Beginners

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Starts Nov 10
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About This Course

This course is intended for newcomers to programming. Python is favored by first-time programmers because it presents engineering concepts in a straight-forward, clear language, while quietly and behind-the-scenes, it takes care of the difficult, tedious and error-prone details that present the major obstacles to writing a program in older languages. Python is an open-sourced language with rich features and is used extensively in the industries.

The course covers the important concepts and programming mechanisms that exist in all programming languages: Reading and writing to standard IO, using operators, controlling the flow of execution, using functions, and reading and writing files. It also includes Python specific facilities such as code re-use, built-in sequence types, and iteration. Interactions and expert help are available.

Prerequisite Skills:

If you are already familiar with any programming language, the pace of this course may be slow. More experienced programmers should take "Python for Programmers" (course CMPR.X416).

If you have no prior programming experience, or do possess knowledge of other languages but want to learn the basics of a new one, you can benefit greatly from this course.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, you should be able to:

  • Describe the use and advantages of Python in the software industry
  • Use Jupiter/Spyder as software environments for creating and running Python programs
  • Execute Python code from both the shell and from saved files
  • Explain variables and basic variable types including integer, float, boolean, and strings
  • Use assignment statements, with operators
  • Read input from the keyboard and produce printed output
  • Apply many of Python’s built-in functions
  • Create and call functions, passing parameters, return value(s)
  • Use if/elif/else constructs effectively
  • Apply Boolean operators: and, or, not
  • Use while loops effectively
  • Import and use Python library modules (e.g., random, math)
  • Create, use, and manipulate lists
  • Create, use, and manipulate strings
  • Effectively use ‘for’ loops, with range(), to iterate through lists and strings
  • Process errors/exceptions
  • Read and write files
  • Take advantage of Python libraries
  • Create functions with parameters, and calling functions with arguments

Skills You'll Gain

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