Seminar - Python Basics

Pre-session questionnaire

Before going through the seminar materials, please fill in this questionnaire.

What is Python

Python is an interpreted high-level scripting language used widely for data science and supporting object-oriented programming. Its open-source nature with a comprehensive standard library, particularly for scientific programming, makes the language very popular amongst engineers.

Why Python

We will be using Python and Jupyter notebooks to practice the modelling approaches covered in this module. The purpose of this session is to help you familiarise yourself with the most common Python programming toolkits and help you get started with your first coursework assignment.

Seminar video

The recording will be uploaded after the seminar takes place.

Download slides


Since most of you will be using Python and Anaconda for the first time, we have produced the following step by step guides to help you get set up.

The most efficient way to get Jupyter up and running is using a terminal - as we expect that this is going the first time that many of you will be using this functionality, we have included some guidance on how to access it and on how you can use it to navigate your filesystems.

Windows version

MacOS version


During the seminar, we will use the Fibonacci algorithm as an example of using Python to implement algorithms. In the links below, you can find the codes that were used (as well as an equivalent Matlab version for reference)

Python version

Jupyter notebook version

Matlab version

We recommend that you carefully study all the above files and try to understand how they work. Should you happen to encounter any issues, do not hesitate to ask for help from the GTA team.