Python tutorial instructions

As part of our 2014 winter school we will be running a bring-your-own-laptop Python tutorial delivered by our Computational Modelling Support (CMS) team.

The Python tutorial does require some knowledge of the basics of Python, therefore it is not compulsory, if you do not use or plan to use Python you do not need to attend. However this is an excellent opportunity to gain some climate science specific Python instruction from our CMS team so we do recommend you give it a go. If you are new to Python our CMS team has provided a list of resources below, including an introductory tutorial, to help get you up to speed.

Preparation required before the tutorial

Before attending, please make sure you have the following:

  • A personal laptop

If you don't have a laptop, or don't want to use one, then feel free to share with another person.

  • A NetCDF viewer. We recommend Panoply:

 NetCDF command line tools (e.g. ncdump) can also be used.

  • An installed version of Python:

We will be using Python 2.7 in the course. Attendees are welcome to use any  version of Python, but be aware that there are some differences between Python 2 and Python 3.

To see if you have all the necessary software run the ```` script.

To install Python:

  • Enthought provides a comprehensive collection of Python and scientific packages as a single installation, and is available for free under Academic License. If you are new to Python, then we recommend using Enthought Canopy. Enthought also contains the packages used in this course.

  • The Python website provides installation packages:

Note that this does not include any individual packages.

  • OS X users may want to install python using MacPorts or homebrew:

  • Linux users can obtain Python and support packages through most package management utilities (yum, apt, pacman, etc.)

You will need the following packages and modules for the course:

  - NumPy

  - SciPy

  - Matplotlib

  - Basemap

  - netcdf4-python

 These packages are included in the Enthought Canopy installer.

To see if you have all the necessary software run the ```` script.

Python training resources

Python tutorial from the CMS team

Python for scientists: Basics

Other useful resources

A hands-on introduction to using Python in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences

A free on-line book on Python for new users, tailored to the atmospheric and ocean sciences.


A blog and e-mail list  for users of Python in the atmospheric and ocean sciences.

The Python tutorial

An online Python tutorial.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Python.

A guide to provide both novice and expert Python developers a best-practice handbook to the installation, configuration, and usage of Python on a daily basis.

Coursera course

An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python.

Codecademy course

An online Into to Python course.


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