Introduction to Programming and Scientific Applications (Spring 2020)


Welcome to the course Introduction to Programming with Scientific Applications. The course gives an introduction to the Python 3 programming language using the book "Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python With Application to Understanding Data" by John Guttag. The book covers the basics of Python and contains a long list of scientific applications. For the more subtle features of Python, students are encouraged to seek information online in e.g. the Python language specification.

The course will be run with 2 x 2 hours of weekly lectures, 3 hours of TA classes ("øvelser"), and 3 hours of staffed study café.

During the course students are required to hand in 10 weekly handins and one larger implementation project. Handins and the project is done in groups of up to three persons. The final exam will be a multiple-choice exam without aids, and the final grade will be based on overall evaluation of the project and the multiple choice exam.

Course content

The course gives an introduction to programming with scientific applications. Programming concepts and techniques are introduced using the Python programming language. The programming concepts are illustrated in other programming languages. The following content is included.

After the course the participants will have knowledge of principles and techniques for systematic construction of programs. At the end of the course, the participants will be able to:


Name Email Office
Lecturer Gerth Stølting Brodal Nygaard 321


Lectures take place on Wednesday at 14:15-16:00 and Friday at 08:15-10:00 in iNANO auditorium (1593-012A). The first lecture takes place on Wednesday January 29, 2020.

Exercise classes (TØ)

Exercise classes take place as follows:

Class Date & time Room
DV1 Wednesday 11-14 1521-322
KE Monday 13-16 1593-218
MA1 Thursday 9-12 D.01
MA2 Thursday 14-17 D.01
MØ1 Tuesday 12-15 D.02
MØ3 Friday 11-14 G.31
TV Tuesday 8-11 G.31

Exercise classes start Monday February 3, 2020.

Study Café

Study café takes place as follows (week in parenthesis):

Weekday Time TA TA
Monday 8-9 Koll G3 TAs
Wednesday 16-17 iNano auditorium Gerth
Friday 10-11 1593-226 TAs

Expected work load

Below is an estimation of the expected time consumption of the course.

Lectures 4 hours pr week 56
Theoretical exercises 3 hours pr week 39
Study Café 1 hours pr week 14
Handins / project 3 hours pr week 42
Preparation for lectures 2 hours pr week 28
Preparation for theoretical exercises 2 hours pr week 26
Preparation for the exam 40
Exam 2
Grand total 247

Basic literature

The material for the course primarily consists of slides from the lectures and online documentation available from and related sites.

The following book gives a good background for the course, but it is not mandatory to buy the book for attending the course.

Guttag 2016 John V. Guttag. Introduction to Computation and Programming Using Python With Application to Understanding Data. Second Edition. 472 pages. MIT Press, 2016. ISBN: 9780262529624.

The book will be available at Stakbogladen in January.