About This Course

This course will introduce you to the wonderful world of Python programming! We’ll learn about the essential elements of programming and how to construct basic Python programs. We will cover expressions, variables, functions, logic, and conditionals, which are foundational concepts in computer programming. We will also teach you how to use Python modules, which enable you to benefit from the vast array of functionality that is already a part of the Python language. These concepts and skills will help you to begin to think like a computer programmer and to understand how to go about writing Python programs.

By the end of the course, you will be able to write short Python programs that are able to accomplish real, practical tasks. This course is the foundation for building expertise in Python programming. As the first course in a specialization, it provides the necessary building blocks for you to succeed at learning to write more complex Python programs.

This course uses Python 3. While many Python programs continue to use Python 2, Python 3 is the future of the Python programming language. This first course will use a Python 3 version of the CodeSkulptor development environment, which is specifically designed to help beginning programmers learn quickly. CodeSkulptor runs within any modern web browser and does not require you to install any software, allowing you to start writing and running small programs immediately. In the later courses in this specialization, we will help you to move to more sophisticated desktop development environments.

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Professor Information

Picture of Dr. Joe Warren

Dr. Joe Warren

Joe Warren is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Rice University. His main area of research interest is computer graphics and geometric modeling, where he has published extensively. He is the author of the book Subdivision Methods

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Picture of Dr. Scott Rixner

Dr. Scott Rixner

Scott Rixner is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Rice University. His research focuses on systems software and computer architecture. He is well versed in the internals of the Python programming language, as he is currently developing a light-weight

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