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python101

Materials for the Python Introductory Course developed by the Ersilia Open Source Initiative

Goal

To give an overview of the fundamentals of the Python programming language and encourage students to explore the possibilities of applying basic computational pipelines in their daily work.

Why Python?

Python is one of the most used languages in data science because of its simplicity and flexibility, thus making it ideal as a starting point for new programmers.

Requirements

This course is directed to scientists with an interest in starting to optimize some daily tasks in data analysis and visualization using Python. No previous experience in Python and/or other programming languages is required.

Course Outline

The course will be divided into four sessions of three hours. Each session will comprise a guided explanation of the concepts using applied examples and a hands-on exercise. In addition, we will provide a list of additional resources to practise and gain deeper knowledge of the topics discussed in the course.

Session 1: Setting up the environment and understanding Python syntax

In this session, we will learn how to prepare our computers to work with Python, creating a specific environment using the Anaconda interface. In addition, we will review the fundamentals of writing in Python. As with any other language, there are a number of rules that must be learnt.

Session 2: Working with tables

Python offers solutions to deal with large amounts of data stored in tables (for example, csv or excel files). We will explore the Pandas and Numpy packages to create, store and retrieve data from tables.

Session 3: Data visualization

Plotting data quickly and nicely is probably one of the most useful tools for everyday work. We will go over the most common graph formats and set the basis for more elaborate analysis.

Session 4: Introduction to Machine Learning

In this session we will review the basic concepts of Machine Learning and how some pre-built Python packages can help us get started in the field.

Disclaimer: this course is simply an introduction to basic Python functionalities to familiarize students with the technology, not a comprehensive data science training.

About us

The Ersilia Open Source Initiative is a Non Profit Organization incorporated with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (number 1192266). Our mission is to reduce the imbalance in biomedical research productivity between countries by supporting research in underfunded settings.

You can support us via our Open Collective.

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An introductory course to the Python programming language for chemists and biologists

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