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Introduction to Scientific Python

CME 193: Introduction to Scientific Python

Course description:

This short course runs for the first three weeks of the quarter and is offered each quarter during the academic year. It is recommended for students who want to use Python in math, science, or engineering courses and for students who want to learn the basics of Python programming. The goal of the short course is to familiarize students with Pythons tools for scientific computing. Lectures will be interactive with a focus on learning by example, and assignments will be application-driven. No prior programming experience is needed. Topics covered include control flow, basic data structures, File I/O, and an introduction to NumPy/SciPy.

CME 193

Location: Mitchb67

Times: Tu / Th 3:45PM - 5:35PM; April 4 - April 18


Office hours: (Austin) Mon/Wed 1-2pm outside ICME in Huang basement, also by appointment

We will be using Piazza for course communication. The course page is



We are creating Just-in-time Online Learning Tools (JOLTS) for the course this quarter. For now, these tools will consist of short videos (1-5 minutes) on specific topics learned in class. We encourage you to watch these videos and provide feedback.

We have created a virtual machine (VM) to work with


that has all of the tools needed for the class. The VM uses Linux Debian 6.0.7 and has the following tools installed:






, and


. The username is cme193 and the password is 193cme. The root password is toor. To get started:

There will be five homework assignments. You pass the class if you earn at least 70% of the points on each assignment. Homework is assigned for each lecture, and each homework is due by the beginning of the following lecture (except for the last homework, which will be due on April 22).

An autograder will be distributed with some of the homework. The autograder is there so you can tell if your work is correct. Gaming the autograder by hard-coding the answers it is expecting is a violation of the Stanford Honor Code.

You are encouraged to collaborate with others on the homework assignments. However, you must write up your own solutions. You may not copy each others' code.

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