The National Institute for Computational Sciences

Python Crash Course for Scientists and Engineers

Course Description

The course is designed to provide an introduction to the Python programming language. The focus of the course is to provide students with an introduction to programming, I/O, and visualization using the Python programming language.

Course Objectives

Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Install and run the Python interpreter
  • Create and execute Python programs
  • Understand the concepts of file I/O
  • Be able to read data from a text file using Python
  • Plot data using appropriate Python visualization libraries

Course Schedule

WEEK 1 - Course introduction

Course objective in focus:

  • Instructor and students introductions
  • Introduction to the Python programming language
  • Obtaining and installing Python
  • Writing your first ‘Hello World!’ program


WEEK 2 - Introduction to Python

Course objective in focus:

  • Gain knowledge of Python syntax
  • Learn variable declarations in Pytbon
  • Learn control structures
  • Learn loop constructs
  • Understand modules


  • Assignment 2 – Scripting exercise

WEEK 3 – Input/Output

Course objective in focus:

  • Learn about file processing concepts
  • Learn how to read data from a file
  • Learn techniques for storing data in variables


WEEK 4 – Visualization of Data

Course objective in focus:

  • Gain knowledge of Python visualization libraries
  • Create a plot of retrieved data