This course will introduce the core data structures of the Python programming language. You will move past the basics of procedural programming and explore how you can use the Python built-in data structures such as lists, dictionaries, and tuples to perform increasingly complex data analysis. This course will cover Chapters 6-10 of the textbook «Python for Everybody». This course covers Python 3.
In this class you are moving into data structures. The second week of this class is dedicated to getting Python installed if you want to actually run the applications on your desktop or laptop. If you choose not to install Python, you can just skip to the third week and get a head start.
- Unit: Installing and Using Python
In this module you will set things up so you can write Python programs. Python installation is not required for this class. You can write and test Python programs in the browser using the «Python Code Playground» in this lesson.
Up to now, you have been working with data that is read from the user or data in constants. But real programs process much larger amounts of data by reading and writing files on the secondary storage on your computer. In this chapter you start to write your first programs that read, scan, and process real data.
As you want to solve more complex problems in Python, you need more powerful variables. Up to now you have been using simple variables to store numbers or strings where we have a single value in a variable. Starting with lists you organize, and retrieve different values from within a single variable. These multi-valued variables are called «collections» or «data structures».
The Python dictionary is one of its most powerful data structures. Instead of representing values in a linear list, dictionaries store data as key/value pairs. Using key/value pairs gives you a simple in-memory «database» in a single Python variable.
Tuples are our third and final basic Python data structure. Tuples are a simple version of lists. They are used in conjunction with dictionaries to accomplish multi-step tasks like sorting or looping through all of the data in a dictionary.
To celebrate your making it to the halfway point in our Python for Everybody Specialization, we welcome you to attend our online graduation ceremony. It is not very long, and it features a Commencement speaker and very short commencement speech.
What will you learn
- Explain the principles of data structures & how they are used.
- Create programs that are able to read and write data from files.
- Store data as key/value pairs using Python dictionaries.
- Accomplish multi-step tasks like sorting or looping using tuples.