Digital Scholarship Resources - Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Scholarship and Communications Office

DiSC Python Lessons

A shortened link to this page is vanderbi.lt/py.

About the lessons

DiSC Python lessons are provided by the Digital Scholarship and Communications Office (DiSC) of the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries at Vanderbilt University. The DiSC office provides regular lessons for Python beginners and occasional special topics lessons. There is no cost associated with the lessons.

The beginners lessons generally cycle twice per semester. See the schedule below for details. You are also encouraged to work through the lessons on your own. They contain practice exercises, with answers.

The DiSC office also provides lessons for learning R in a similar format.

Archive of Beginners Lessons - Spring 2020

Date Session Topic Notes
Mar 10 1 Getting started intro web page, presentation, and video / Anaconda / install Thonny / install Python / install editor / code examples / colab notebook / example Jupyter notebook
Mar 17 2 Python scripting basics lesson webpage
Mar 24 3 Object-oriented Python lesson webpage / video
Mar 31 4 Lists and loops lesson webpage / video
Apr 7 5 Dictionaries and JSON lesson webpage / video
Apr 14 6 Input and output from files lesson webpage / video
Apr 21 7 Interacting with the Internet lesson webpage / video

Archive of Intermediate Lessons on Data Analysis and Visualization - Spring 2020

These lessons were taught by Dr. Sanjay Mishra, Staff Scientist in the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center and former Data Science instructor at the Nashville Software School. They focused on analyzing and visualizing large data sets with Python and used Pandas and Matplotlib. The lessons assume that you have basic Python skills. The examples use Microsoft Azure hosted Jupyter notebooks, which you can access them with any Microsoft compatible login credentials, including Vanderbilt / VUMC logins. If you have a functioning Anaconda installation on your local computer you can download the Jupyter notebooks and run them locally.

Dr. Mishra recommends the book Python for Data Analysis - Data Wrangling with Pandas, NumPy, and IPython by William (Wes) McKinney as a reference for this lesson. Vanderbilt users can access the eBook through the Heard Libraries subscription to O’Reilly For Higher Education media (VUNet ID and password required) at this link. Non-Vanderbilt users can access a free PDF of the first edition of the similar pandas: powerful Python data analysis toolkit at the Pandas home page. To access the code examples, go to Wes McKinney’s GitHub site and click on the appropriate IPython Notebook for the chapter. Note: IPython is an older name for Jupyter notebooks.

Date Session Topic Notes
Mar 19 1 Importing data (Pandas, slicing) lesson video / Jupyter notebook / Azure project link After clicking, clone the project to your account in order to run it in the cloud. Click on the Download Project link if you want to download the project and open it in a local Jupyter notebook. The notebook for this lesson is intermediate_python_1.ipynb / Review of modules and packages
Mar 26 2 Creating figures with Matplotlib lesson video / Jupyter notebook / Azure project link The notebook for this lesson is intermediate_python_2.ipynb. See the first part of the lesson video for more information about how to access the data in the notebook on a local Jupyter notebook or in the cloud through Azure / See notes above to access the O’Reilly book mentioned in the lesson
Apr 2 3 Curve fitting lesson video / Jupyter notebook / Azure project link After clicking, clone the project to your account in order to run it in the cloud. Click on the Download Project link if you want to download the project and open it in a local Jupyter notebook. The notebook for this lesson is Intermediate_Python_3.ipynb / starting page for LaTex information
Apr 9 4 Basic image processing lesson video / Jupyter notebook / Azure project link After clicking, clone the project to your account in order to run it in the cloud. Click on the Download Project link if you want to download the project and open it in a local Jupyter notebook. The notebook for this lesson is Intermediate_python_4.ipynb
Apr 16 5 Reproducible results: notebooks, LaTex, and presentations lesson video / Jupyter notebook / Azure project link After clicking, clone the project to your account in order to run it in the cloud. Click on the Download Project link if you want to download the project and open it in a local Jupyter notebook. The notebook for this lesson is Intermediate_python_5.ipynb

Jupyter notebook links for lesson 5

Extensions for Jupyter notebooks

Code folding for Jupyter notebooks

LaTeX cheatsheet (pdf)

nbconvert for supressing input code in final rendered display

RISE system for presentations from notebooks

Archive of API/Web Scraping Lessons - Fall 2019

Date Session Topic Notes
Nov 1 1 HTTP and APIs Jupyter notebook, Presentation
Nov 8 2 API search and authentication Jupyter notebook
Nov 15 3 HTML and web page structure Jupyter notebook, Presentation
Nov 22 4 Scraping with Beautiful Soup Jupyter notebook
Dec 6 5 Project Jupyter notebook for Twitter location search project

Python Resources

Here’s a page of Python resources

O’Reilly for Higher Education books and videos (Vanderbilt sign-in required)

Other sources of Python resources on Vanderbilt’s campus

Data Science Institute (DSI) https://www.vanderbilt.edu/datascience/

Research IT https://research.vanderbilt.edu/researchadministration/about/research-it/

Digital Humanities (DH) Center https://www.vanderbilt.edu/digitalhumanities/

Software Carpentries (cosponsored by DiSC and Research IT)

Stay tuned for the next offering


Questions? contact Steve Baskauf


Revised 2020-04-21

Questions? Contact us

License: CC BY 4.0.
Credit: "Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Scholarship and Communications - www.library.vanderbilt.edu"