Taught by: Dr. Esperanza Huerta

Why should I take this seminar?

This seminar gives you the basic programming foundations needed in data science. Data scientists analyze a great deal of data, always assisted by computers. Data scientists tell computers what to do by coding programs with very detailed instructions.

Before you can engage in data science, you need to know how to interpret, modify, and create computer programs. For this and other seminars, the programming language used is Python.

You should take this seminar if you have no experience programming. If you already know how to program in any other language, you could learn Python on your own.

After completing the seminar, you should be able to:

  1. Explain programming in data science
  2. Interpret, modify, and create basic programs in Python

Seminar structure

This seminar has three parts. To earn a digital badge you need to do all three parts: pre-seminar, live seminar, and post-seminar.

You can do some parts of the seminar, only the live seminar, or only do the pre- or post-seminar, but to earn a digital badge you must do all three parts.

Seminar description

During the live seminar we will interpret, execute, and trace basic Python programs in Spyder (an open source integrated development environment). The programs:

  1. receive data input from the keyboard and from text files and output data to the screen and to text files
  2. use basic data types (string, integer, float, and boolean)
  3. use assignment and basic arithmentic operations
  4. use unique and divergent (if-then-else) paths of execution
  5. use loops (for and while).

The programs in the live seminar use data for electric cars.

Seminar materials

The materials listed in this page are materials for students. If you are faculty, please fill out the form to request access to faculty materials.

Pre-seminar materials

The pre-seminar module contains:

  1. One note on programming in data science (download here)
  2. One article on Python. The article “Python has brought computer programming to a vast new audience” was published by The Economist on July 19th, 2018. You need to access this article through your library. This article describes the history of Python and its current relevance for data science.
  3. One note on instructions for installing Python (download here)

How long will it take to complete the pre-seminar work?

Depending on how fast you read it should take you between 20 and 30 minutes to read the notes and articles.

Installing Python should take less than 5 minutes.

Live seminar materials

The live seminar module contains:

  1. A pdf of the presentation (download here).
  2. Documents, data, and programs used in the examples about electric cars (download zip file here ).
  3. Narratives and data to create python programs to calculate interests (download zip file here).