Skip to content
Branch: master
Find file History
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

Lab P5: Looping Patterns and Hurricane API

This lab is designed to introduce you to for P5 and introduce some fundamental looping patterns you'll be using. We will also learn to manipulate strings, which will be useful for P5.

Completing this lab will improves your odds of success on the projects and the exams. Doing it at the designated lab time will mean you have help right away when you get stuck, and will help you make regularly scheduled progress. Enjoy!

Project API

The file helps give you access to the dataset you'll use this week, hurricanes.csv. Start by looking at the dataset here: This data is a summary of statistics pulled from Wikipedia: Look through the dataset for a recent hurricane, such as hurricane Michael, and briefly familiarize yourself with some of the numbers. The data shows name, the date of formation, the date of dissipation, max wind speed (in MPH), damage (in dollars), and deaths. Note that the death stats are usually direct deaths, meaning they don't count deaths that occur after the storm due to, say, infrastructure damage to hospitals.

Often, we'll often organize data by assigning numbers (called indexes) to different parts of the data (e.g., rows or columns in a table). In Computer Science, indexing typically starts with the number 0 (zero); i.e., when you have a sequence of things, you'll start counting them from 0 (zero) instead of 1 (one). Thus, you should ignore the numbers shown by GitHub to the left of the rows. From the perspective of, the indexes of Baker, Camille, and Eloise are 0, 1, and 2 respectively (and so on).

Download hurricanes.csv and to a lab5 directory that you create, and start a new notebook in that directory for some scratch work.

Run the following in cells to explore the API:

import project

Spend a little time reading about each of the six functions that don't begin with two underscores. E.g., run this to learn about count:


You may also open up the file directly to learn about the functions provided. E.g., you might see this:

def count():
    """This function will return the number of records in the dataset"""
    return len(__hurricane__)

You don't need to understand the code in the functions, but the strings in triple quotes (called docstrings) explain what each function does. As it turns out, all project.count.__doc__ is doing is giving you the docstring for the count function.

Try using the project API, by running the following (in each case, make sure you have the hurricanes.csv file open in GitHub and find where the data returned by the function call is coming from):

  1. project.get_name(0)
  2. project.get_name(1)
  3. project.get_mph(0)
  4. project.get_deaths(0)
  5. project.get_damage(0)
  6. project.get_damage(1)
  7. project.get_name(project.count())

For 5 and 6, note that the damage amount ends with "M" and "B" respectively. In this dataset, "K" represents one thousand, "M" represents one million, and "B" represents one billion. In the project, you'll need to convert these strings to the appropriate floats (e.g., "1.5K" will become 1500.0).

Oops, example 7 failed! Can you change the code so that you get the name of the last hurricane (in this case, "Omar")?

Loop Warmups

You're going to need to write lots of loops for this project. We'll walk you through some examples here that will help you later.

1. Using for and range

Run this snippet and observe the output:

i = 0
while i <= 5:
    i += 1

Your job is to replace the ??? parts below to create a loop that does the same thing:

for ??? in range(???):

Make sure the last number printed is exactly the same with both code snippets!

2. When to use range

Consider these two loops:

Loop A:

s = "bahahaha"
for x in s:
    pass # TODO

Loop B:

s = "bahahaha"
for i in range(len(s)):
    pass # TODO

Now imagine two different problems.

  1. you need to print every letter in s on its own line
  2. you need to print the index of every "h" in s on its own line

Which loop is the easier starting point for each problem? Give it a try, and discuss with your neighbour.

3. Looping over indexes

You want a loop that prints the index of every row index in hurricanes.csv (from 0 to 131, inclusive):

for idx in range(???):

Your job is to replace the ??? parts below with a call to one of the functions in the project module.

3. Looping over values

Complete the following loop so it prints the name of every hurricane in the dataset:

for idx in range(???):
    name = ???

Both places where ??? occurs should be replaced with calls to functions in project.

4. Filtering data

Your job is to replace the ??? parts below so that the name of every hurricane with a speed under 80 mph in printed.

for i in range(???):
    if ???:

5. Finding a maximum

Relpace ??? so that the code does what the comments say it should do:

def f(n):
    return 3 + n % 7

# we want to find the integer n in the range of 0 to 10
# such that f(n) is largest.
best_n = 0
for n in range(11):
    if ???:
        best_n = n


Working with strings

We have seen how several of the functions in work. We have not yet looked at the functions get_formed() and get_dissipated(). Let us do that now. Run each of the following in its own cell:

  1. project.get_formed(0)
  2. project.get_dissipated(0)

The dates are represented in the standard mm/dd/yyyy notation. This date is represented as a string. Note that the dates have been formatted so that two digits are used to represent the month even when the month can be represented using only one digit. So, '8/18/1950' is represented as '08/18/1950' This is to make it easier to extract data from the string. Run the following code:


The above code displays the month in which the hurricane at index 0 was formed. Can you guess what the following code does?


Creating some helper functions

We will now finish three functions that will be useful for dealing with dates in P5. Copy/paste the following code into your notebook and finish the TODOs:

def get_month(date):
    '''Returns the month when the date is the in the 'mm/dd/yyyy' format'''
    return int(date[:2])

def get_day(date):
    '''Returns the day when the date is the in the 'mm/dd/yyyy' format'''
    pass #TODO: Use string slicing to return the day

def get_year(date):
    '''Returns the year when the date is the in the 'mm/dd/yyyy' format'''
    pass #TODO: Use string slicing to return the year

When you are done with the functions, think of some test cases (e.g., get_year("10/02/2019")) to make sure they are correct. You may copy these functions to your project notebook if you like.

You can’t perform that action at this time.