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Introduction to Python Course

This course is based on the book below and the corresponding Jupyter notebooks of Jake VanderPlas. The course in its original format can be found on Github. As reading from and writing to a file is belonging also to the basics, Kinga Sipos created the complementray Chapter 14-File Input and Output. Chapter 18-Plotting was also added to provide a first experience with plotting in Python. Some other little details were created and/or changed. Finally extra exercises were added in order to enhance the interactivity of the course.

A Whirlwind Tour of Python is a fast-paced introduction to essential components of the Python language for researchers and developers.

According to Jake VanderPlas the material is particularly aimed at those who wish to use Python for data science and/or scientific programming, and in this capacity serves as an introduction to his next book, The Python Data Science Handbook. These notebooks are adapted from lectures and workshops Jake VanderPlas has given on these topics at University of Washington and at various conferences, meetings, and workshops around the world.


  1. Introduction
  2. How to Run Python Code
  3. Basic Python Syntax
  4. Python Semantics: Variables
  5. Python Semantics: Operators
  6. Built-In Scalar Types
  7. Built-In Data Structures
  8. Control Flow Statements
  9. Defining Functions
  10. Errors and Exceptions
  11. Iterators
  12. List Comprehensions
  13. Generators and Generator Expressions
  14. Strings and Regular Expressions
  15. File Input and Output
  16. Modules and Packages
  17. Preview of Data Science Tools
  18. Resources for Further Learning
  19. Plotting
  20. Appendix: Figure Code
  21. Solutions


The materials from Jake VanderPlas were modified respecting the licence they were published with. The modified material is released under the same "No Rights Reserved" CC0 license, and thus you are free to re-use, modify, build-on, and enhance this material for any purpose.

Respecting the wish of Jake VanderPlast, we include a proper attribution and/or citation of the materials consituting the basis of this course:

A Whirlwind Tour of Python by Jake VanderPlas (O'Reilly). Copyright 2016 O'Reilly Media, Inc., 978-1-491-96465-1

Read more about CC0 here.


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