Notes for Python Meetup
April 11, 2011
How I started teaching with Python
1) Wrote a Java book (what’s wrong with textbooks!)
2) Free license -> Jeff translated it into Python.
3) Adopted the book, learned Python. Lesson: a free book is not the same product with a different license; it’s a different product.
4) Moved to Olin, finally got to use my own book.
Why I teach with Python
1) Lower failure rate: cognitive capacity limits.
2) Get from zero to interesting faster: barrier to CS is the escalating cool threshold.
3) Good use of student time: Maximum ratio of long lifespan knowledge to rapidly obsolete; generally applicable to specific and detailed.
Where we use it
1) Intro class with Think Python / Python for Software Design.
2) Computational modeling with Computational Modeling and Complexity Science.
3) Computational prob stat with Think Stats.
4) Software synchronization with The Little Book of Semaphores.