Lecture: Course Overview & Big Ideas
PDF files of the lecture slides:
These slides are the primary "textbook" of the course. Relevant slides will always be posted ahead of the corresponding class meeting.
There are no readings for the first class. In general though, you should do all the reading before the class. Even a surface understanding of the day's topics before class can make a big difference in your learning.
Click on this lec01_course_intro.zip
.zip file to your computer. Extract the downloaded
lec01_course_intro.zip file (usually an option in the right-click or
option-click menu; let us know if you need help with this) to reveal a
folder with a few files we will use during lecture. Note that some
computers may automatically unzip the file after you download it, and
some may show you the files without actually extracting them if you
In order to run lecture code during class (or on your own computer) you
will need to open the
launchNotebook.py file included in the zip using
Thonny, and then run it. Running that file should launch two windows in
your web browser, one allowing you to select and open other notebook
files (extension ".ipynb") and another with the lecture notebook open
already. If you have trouble with this process, ask an instructor for
Here is a description of the content of the files in this folder:
lec01_course_intro.ipynb: The ending
.ipynbstands for interactive python notebook. This is a special file that you can open with the
launchNotebook.pyprogram (or from an existing Jupyter Notebook server via the web interface), which we'll use often during lectures. You will not be creating such files yourselves. Every input cell is "run" independently of the others. However, order matters, especially when some variables are declared in previous cells. You can save all changes to this file (the outputs of the instructions), and "relive" the lecture at your pace. Alternatively, you can download the file again and test yourself in the short activities that these notebooks contain.
turtleBeads.py: This is a Python module that needs to be present in order for us to create the Tinman graphics. You will not need to open or run the code of this file. We will only import its content in our program via a special Python instruction.
launchLocalNotebook.py: This is a Python script that can be opened in Thonny. It serves to start the Jupyter notebook, as desribed above.
Solutions (for after class)
Use these sample solutions for review only after you have completed the code exercises. You will learn much more by trying them first and comparing your approach with the solutions.