Digital Scholarship Resources - Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Scholarship and Communications Office

DiSC Python Lessons

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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 with a variety of followup intermediate and advanced lessons. There is no cost associated with the lessons.

The beginners lessons are generally offered at least once per semester. See the schedule below for session details.

Each lesson includes of a series of videos with a practice Jupyter/Colab notebook and homework assignments. The live working sessions provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions about the lesson videos and homework, or to work on the homework with assistance.

The lessons are part of a free, online learning system called CodeGraf. You are welcome to work through these lessons or any of the other lesson modules available in CodeGraf on your own at any time (no registration required). To explore all of the lesson modules that are available, visit the CodeGraf landing page.

The DiSC office also provides lessons for learning R and getting started with GitHub in a similar format.

Special note for spring 2022: We are offering a new workshop series on QT Py Computer Workshop Series: Microcontrollers with CircuitPython, which teaches you how to program microcontroller boards with CircuitPython.

Archive of past lessons

Beginners Lessons - Spring 2022

Time: Thursdays from 11:00 AM - noon Central (US) Time (starting March 17).

In-person venue: Central Library Poetry Room (room 612A).

Instructor: Steve Baskauf office hours information, or email to arrange another time to talk.

Because of the uncertainty related to COVID 19, all participants should register through Zoom so that they can participate remotely if necessary. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Zoom session.

Registration link

I will be presenting the lessons using Colab notebooks. They behaves very similarly to the popular Jupyter notebooks but do not require any installation. They do require you to have a Google account.

You are welcome to use desktop Jupyter notebook if you already have it installed, but we will not be spending time going over the installation process. There are some installation videos that you are welcome to watch if you want to do an installation yourself. The practice notebooks are also available as downloadable Jupyter notebooks.

Working session date Lesson Topic Web page (times are total video length)
Mar 17 1 Introduction and examples terminology recommended, but optional (18 min) / programming environments recommended, but optional (50 min) / Colab quickstart required (14 min)
Mar 24 2 Programming basics lesson videos (67 min)
Mar 31 3 Code libraries lesson videos (34 min)
Apr 7 4 List and dictionary objects lesson videos (32 min)
Apr 14 5 Loops lesson videos (33 min lessons, 61 min including demos)
Apr 21 6 Conditional execution lesson videos (44 min)

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)

Research IT

Digital Humanities (DH) Center

Software Carpentries

Co-sponsored by DiSC, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Research IT, ACCRE, and the Data Science Institute


Questions? contact Steve Baskauf

Revised 2022-03-04

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License: CC BY 4.0.
Credit: "Vanderbilt Libraries Digital Scholarship and Communications -"