For a few months now I’ve been using the IPython Notebook as my primary teaching tool for Python topics. Within Software Carpentry we’re also switching over to using the Notebook for both in-person bootcamps and our online repository of material. Ethan White and I put together a post on this topic on the Software Carpentry blog and now Titus Brown has blogged with his own thoughts. We’ve put in a PyCon proposal for a panel on this topic in 2013.
The IPython developers have to be given a huge amount of credit for putting together the Notebook and the rest of IPython. The Notebook especially is quite a feat: a top notch research/engineering/teaching tool all in one. And they aren’t resting on their laurels, they have a ton of ideas in mind for the Notebook in the future, including a slide-show mode. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what they’ve got!
As with many open source projects, the IPython developers struggle to find the time and funding to write their software. If any open source project is helping with your job or your research you can easily help by citing the software in your papers and in public on social media or blogs. This gives the developers more ammunition the next time they’re writing grants, so please make your support known!
On November 11, 2012 I’ll be giving a workshop in Washington, D.C. on number crunching with Python. The even is organized by DC Python and more info can be found on the event page and my post on the Software Carpentry blog.
This week Joshua Smith and I hosted a Software Carpentry boot camp at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We also had awesome teaching help from Sasha Wood and Mike Droettboom.
We opted for a small class since this was our first time hosting a boot camp and because of space limitations. Based on the rate at which people signed up for the class it didn’t seem like there was massive local demand anyway, but we were pleasantly surprised when we had a student from Brooklyn, NY and a student commuting from Virginia. There is definitely some existing demand for the skills Software Carpentry offers and I’m glad we could put on an accessible boot camp for those people. Most of the rest of the students were physics and astronomy grad students or post-docs from JHU and STScI.
The boot camp was broken into four half-day courses: shell, Python, version control, and software engineering. Mike and I co-taught the Python and software engineering sessions.
The overall feedback from the students was quite positive and I’m looking forward to doing this again. (Here is the requisite good/bad Software Carpentry feedback post: http://software-carpentry.org/2012/06/feedback-from-johns-hopkins/.) Below I have some notes on the sections I taught, plus some overall thoughts. Continue reading “Software Carpentry at Johns Hopkins”
This week I’ll be teaching beginning Python at a Software Carpentry bootcamp in Toronto and I’m planning to leave the students with my most frequently visited Python links. This is strictly core Python, no third-party packages.
- Main Documentation Page
- Global Module Index
- Built-in Functions
- Built-in, always available functions like open, enumerate, zip, range, etc.
- String Formatting
What are your most visited core Python references?