Teaching scientific programming using Python

Python is a modern language, the oop to clean .. . An equivalent current Pascal Python Manual was designed and a group of volunteers ….

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Teaching scientific programming using Python
1 Introduction 3
1.1 The current course … 3
1.2 Python … 5
1.2.1 What is Python? … 5
1.2.2 Python’s design philosophy … 6
1.2.3 Project rationale … 7
2 The Python trial 11
2.1 The course handbook … 11
2.2 The trial … 12
2.3 Software … 12
2.3.1 Python … 12
2.3.2 IDLEfork … 13
2.3.3 Numeric Python … 13
2.3.4 Gnuplot … 13
2.4 Questionnaire … 14
3 Results 15
3.1 Questionnaire results: All students … 15
3.2 Questionnaire results: Categorised by ability … 21
4 Discussion 27
4.1 Aims … 27
4.2 Methodology … 27
4.3 Is Python’s use feasible? … 28
4.3.1 Portability … 28
4.3.2 Speed with which it can be taught … 28
4.3.3 Demonstrators … 29
4.3.4 Integrated Development Environment … 29
4.3.5 Teaching of generic programming concepts … 30
4.4 Is Python preferable? … 31
4.4.1 Readability and the speed with which Python can be learnt … 31
4.4.2 Python’s use outside Education … 32
4.4.3 Python’s peculiarities … 33
4.5 Trial experiences and questionnaire results … 34
4.5.1 Indentation a block-delimiter … 34
4.5.2 Error messages … 35
4.5.3 Syntax errors … 36
4.5.4 Arrays … 36
4.5.5 Reading and writing files … 37
4.5.6 The range function and fencepost errors … 38
4.5.7 The interactive interpreter … 39
4.5.8 Python compared to Pascal … 40
4.6 Conclusion … 40
A The questionnaire 45
B Fixing IDLEfork 47

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