Sept 2020 / Python for Scientific Computing

Important info

Part of Scientific Computing in Practice lecture series at Aalto University.

This is a medium-advanced course in Python tools such as NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and Pandas. It is suitable for people who have a basic understanding of basic Python and want to know some internals and important libraries for science. Read the learner personas to see if the course is right for you

Prerequisites include basic programming in Python.

Practical information

This is an online course via Zoom (link sent to registered participants). The course is also streamed via Twitch (the CodeRefinery channel) so that anyone may follow along without registration. There is a HackMD link (collaborative edited notes) which is used for asking questions during the course. The actual material is here.

Instructors and organizers:

  • Anne Claire Fouilloux, University of Oslo Department of Geosciences

  • Naoe Tatara, University of Oslo Libraries (local organizer)

  • Radovan Bast, University of Tromsø

  • Richard Darst, Aalto Scientific Computing (organizer)

  • Samantha Wittke, Finnish Geospatial Research Institute & Aalto University

  • Thor Wikfeldt, EuroCC National Competence Center Sweden, Uppsala University

Time, date, place: the course consists of four online hands-on sessions 3h each:

  • Fri 11.sep, 15:30-16:30 Installation help session

  • Mon 14.sep, 10:00-13:00 (Jupyter, numpy, matplotlib)

  • Wed 16.sep, 10:00-13:00 (scripts, packaging)

  • Mon 21.sep, 10:00-13:00 (scipy, pandas)

  • Wed 23.sep, 10:00-13:00 (library ecosystem, dependencies, Binder)

  • Please connect to all sessions 10 minutes early: icebreakers and intro already starts then.

Registration: This is on online workshop: we currently plan for registrations via Zoom up to our capicity (for lectures+exercises, priority for Aalto→Finland→Nordics), or Twitch (lectures, for anyone). (Registration is now full, check back here for stream info.)

You may register as a team, and your team will be kept together during exercise sessions within a breakout room. If you come together with your friends or research group, you will be able to learn a lot more. Even more so if you bring a helper with your group.

Credits: Certificates are not provided for this course.

Additional course info at: richard.darst -at-


Prerequisites include basic programming in Python.

Preparation: Online workshops can be a productive format, but it takes some effort to get ready. Browse these resources:

Software installation:

Community standards

This is a large course, and we will have many diverse groups attending it. Everyone will be both a teacher and a learner and help to make the course successful. Since this is a large and interactive course which we are just now prototyping, there will be some rough edges and not everything will go perfectly. Please learn from our mistakes, too!

This course consists of both lectures, hands-on exercises, and demos. It is designed to have a range of basic to advanced topics: there should be something for everyone.

The main point this course is the exercises, and they will happen in breakout rooms where we expect people to work together and help each other. We expect everyone to help each other as best as they can with respect for different levels of knowledge - at the same time be aware of your own limitations. No one is better than anyone else, we just have different existing skills and backgrounds.

If there is anything wrong, tell us - if you need to contact us privately, you can message the host on Zoom or contact us outside the course. This could be as simple as “speak louder / text on screen is unreadable” or someone is creating a harmful learning environment.


News and notes

Week 37:

  • Please see the installation instructions (link above). You need to install anaconda before the first day, or else you will quickly fall behind. This class is so large that we won’t be able to do help you catch up. You should also verify your installation (this is part of the installation instructions). On the Friday before, we have an installation help session - you can join there for help.

  • Please remember to join the meeting 10 minutes early. Our icebreakers and introductions already start then. If you are on time, you are late!