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Programming with Python



In order to do proper hands-on with a new language, it’s important to understand each part of it by applying live examples. Hence its syntax fully clear.

Let’s start by playing with functions;


  • Simply create an add_numbers a function that takes two numbers and adds them together;

  • add_numbers updated to take an optional 3rd parameter.

  • add_numbers updated to take an optional flag parameter.


  • Assign function add_numbers to variable add.

Types and Sequences

  • Tuples are an immutable data structure (cannot be altered).


  • Lists are a mutable data structure.

  • Use append to append an object to a list.

  • And by using the indexing operator.

  • Use + to concatenate lists

  • Use * to repeat lists

  • Use the in operator to check if something is inside a list.

  • Let’s look at the strings. Use bracket notation to slice a string.

  • To return the last element of the string.

  • This will return the slice starting from the 4th element from the end and stopping before the 2nd element from the end.

  • This is a slice from the beginning of the string and stopping before the 3rd element.

  • And this is a slice starting from the 4th element of the string and going all the way to the end.

  • Split returns a list of all the words in a string, or a list split on a specific character.

  • * Make sure we convert objects to strings before concatenating.


  • Dictionaries associate keys with values.

  • Iterate over all of the keys

  • Iterate over all of the values

  • We can unpack a sequence into different variables:

  • Make sure the number of values you are unpacking matches the number of variables being assigned.


More on Strings

  • Again, we have to use string type here;

  • Python has a built-in method for convenient string formatting.



Dates and Times

For Dates and Times, we’ve to import “datetime” and “time” libraries;

  • time” returns the current time in seconds since the Epoch. (January 1st, 1970)

  • Convert the timestamp to datetime.

  • Handy datetime attributes.

  • timedelta is a duration expressing the difference between two dates.

  • date.today returns the current local date.


Objects and map()

  • An example of a class in python

  • An example of mapping the min function between two lists.

  • Now let’s iterate through the map object to see the values.


Lambda and List Comprehensions

Here’s an example of lambda that takes in three parameters and adds the first two.


  • Let’s iterate from 0 to 999 and return the even numbers.

Numerical Python (NumPy)

  • Start with importing; “import numpy as np

Creating Arrays

  • Create a list and convert it to a numpy array

  • We can also just pass in a list directly

  • Pass in a list of lists to create a multidimensional array.

  • Use the shape method to find the dimensions of the array. (rows, columns)

  • Arrange returns evenly spaced values within a given interval.

  • Reshape returns an array with the same data with a new shape.

  • Linspace returns evenly spaced numbers over a specified interval.

  • Resize changes the shape and size of the array in-place.

  • Ones return a new array of given shape and type, filled with ones.

  • zeros return a new array of given shape and type, filled with zeros.

  • Eye returns a 2-D array with ones on the diagonal and zeros elsewhere.

  • Diag extracts a diagonal or constructs a diagonal array.

  • Create an array using repeating list (or see np.tile)

  • Repeat elements of an array using repeat.

Combining Arrays

  • Use vstack to stack arrays in sequence vertically (row wise).

  • Use hstack to stack arrays in sequence horizontally (column wise).


  • Use +, -, *, / and ** to perform element-wise addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and power.

  • elementwise power


  • Dot Product

  • number of rows of the array

  • Let’s look at transposing arrays. Transposing permutes the dimensions of the array.

  • The shape of the array z is (2,3) before transposing.

  • Use .T to get the transpose.

  • The number of rows has swapped with the number of columns.

  • Use .dtype to see the data type of the elements in the array.

  • Use .astype to cast to a specific type.


Math Functions

  • Numpy has many built-in math functions that can be performed on arrays.


Indexing / Slicing

  • Use bracket notation to get the value at a specific index. Remember that indexing starts at 0.


  • Use “:” to indicate a range. array[start:stop]. (Leaving start or stop empty will default to the beginning/end of the array.)

  • Use negatives to count from the back.

  • A second “:” can be used to indicate step-size. array[start:stop:stepsize]. (Here we are starting 5th element from the end, and counting backwards by 2 until the beginning of the array is reached.)

  • Let’s look at a multidimensional array.

  • Use bracket notation to slice: array[row, column]

  • And use “:” to select a range of rows or columns

  • Here we are selecting all the rows up to (and not including) row 2, and all the columns up to (and not including) the last column.

  • This is a slice of the last row and only every other element.


  • We can also perform conditional indexing. Here we are selecting values from the array that are greater than 30. (Also see np.where)

  • Here we are assigning all values in the array that are greater than 30 to the value of 30.

Copying Data

* Be careful with copying and modifying arrays in NumPy!

  • r2 is a slice of r

  • Set this slice’s values to zero ([:] selects the entire array)

  • r has also been changed!

  • To avoid this, use r.copy to create a copy that will not affect the original array

  • Now when r_copy is modified, r will not be changed.

Iterating Over Arrays

  • Let’s create a new 4 by 3 array of random numbers 0-9.

  • Iterate by row

  • Iterate by index:

  • Iterate by row and index:

  • Use zip to iterate over multiple iterables.



Further, one can perform further hands-on of different techniques like Reading and Writing data to/from csv/spreadsheets and also by using different python libraries. : – )






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