Introduction to Programming and Scientific Applications (Spring 2021)


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 hours of weekly live lectures, recorded lectures on YouTube, 3 hours of TA classes ("øvelser"), and 3 hours of staffed online 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


For all the material covered in the course, there will be lectures available as YouTube videos in the course plan, for watching at your own speed (from 0.25 to double speed, skip sections, rewind, pause, ...).

There will be a weekly "lecture" Wednesday at 14:15-16:00 in Auditorium E (1533-103) at Zoom. This will be used for covering questions that were posted on the discussion forum during the last week or going over some examples.

The first lecture takes place on Wednesday February 3, 2021.

Exercise classes (TØ)

Exercise classes take place as follows:

Class Date & time Room
MA1 Thursday 8-11 G32
MA2 Monday 9-12 D.02
MØ1 Thursday 14-17 D.02
MØ2 Friday 11-14 Kollokvium G
DV1 Monday 9-12 Kollokvium G3
DV2 Thursday 14-17 Kollokvium G4
TV Friday 11-14 Kollokvium G4
KE Monday 14-17 Kollokvium G4

Exercise classes start Monday February 8, 2021.

TA classes will be online at Discord

Study Café

Online study café takes place as follows.

Weekday Time
Monday 8-9
Wednesday 16-17
Friday 9-10

The study café takes place at Discord

Q & A sessions

Before the exam each TA will have a Q & A session. Time and place are listed below.

Weekday Date Time Place TA
Wednesday June 2, 2021 14:15 Zoom Gerth

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


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 the branch of Stakbogladen at the Department of Mathematics in January (buy book online at Stakbogladen).