Materials used in class when teaching Data Bootcamp at NYU Stern.
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Data Bootcamp

A course exploring economic and financial data with Python at NYU's Stern School of Business. For current information and links to course material, try the Data Bootcamp website.

To see an interactive preview of some of the contents here, click the my binder button below:


November 2015. We are offering two sections of Data Bootcamp at NYU Stern in Spring 2016, one for undergrads (ECON-UB.0232, Tuesday and Thursday, 2-3:15, January 26 to May 10) and one for MBA students (ECON-GB.2313, Wednesday nights, 6-9pm, February 8 to May 9). They are standard for-credit courses at NYU.

The course was developed by Stern faculty and students with the assistance and support of executives at Amazon. The immediate goal is to train students to succeed as summer interns and full-time employees of technology companies, but the same skills are valued in finance, marketing, consulting, media, and other areas. We think of it as literacy for the modern age and a selling point in finding a job.

More concretely, the course is designed to (i) introduce students to sources of economic, financial, and business data and (ii) give programming newbies a sense of how modern software -- in this case Python -- makes life easier and more interesting. We'll let the data speak for itself. But coding is an essential skill in the modern world. You can do lots of things in Excel, but if you value your time -- and you should -- you'll find you can use it more efficiently with a modern programming language. We like to say we do it because we're lazy, laziness being a synonym here for efficiency. Former students tell us it's become a key to success in the business world. An alum with strong programming skills worries that this course will make him obsolete.

The Data Bootcamp course will NOT cover SQL databases. SQL Bootcamp is a separate non-credit course. Same team, same attitude, different content. For more information, scroll down.

You can find more information about the course on the course website. If you have questions, email Dave Backus ( or track him down in his office (KMC 7-68) or at the Malt House.

Related information

Related courses. Several students have asked how Data Bootcamp compares to other courses with significant programming content. I've put together a list, but I recommend you ask around. Data Bootcamp does two things that are unusual: it's newbie-friendly, and there's a strong emphasis on data. The latter strikes me as important, in the sense that when you learn to program, it's helpful to have a purpose in mind. Ours is to collect and manage data.

Suggestions welcome. Post them at the "Issues" link at the top (look for the exclamation point in a circle) or email us at Thanks in advance. (all open issues)

Licensing. We encourage others to use this material and to acknowledge such use. Here's the boilerplate. On the off chance this crossed your mind, here's Richard Stallman's take on the license, which allows commercial development.

Part of the #nyuecon collection at NYU's Stern School of Business.

Another product of the #nyuecon Python factory @ NYU Stern.

Contributor information

We run a special pre-commit git hook to clean up the files before we let git commit them. In order to use this you need to move them into place. We have a python script that does this. So immediately after cloning the repository run the file from this directory (e.g. by calling python from the command line.)