In this lesson we will be using Python 3 with some of its scientific libraries. Although one can install a “plain vanilla” Python 3 and all required libraries “by hand”, we recommend installing Anaconda, a Python distribution that comes with everything we need for the lesson.
Obtain lesson materials
- Download python-novice-inflammation-data.zip and python-novice-inflammation-code.zip.
- Create a folder called
swc-pythonon your Desktop.
- Move downloaded files into this newly created folder.
- Unzip the files.
You should now see two new folders called
code in your
swc-python directory on your
Navigate to the
If you’re using a Unix shell application, such as Terminal app in macOS, Console or Terminal in Linux, or Git Bash on Windows, execute the following command:
$ cd ~/Desktop/swc-python/data
On Windows, you can use its native Command Prompt program. The easiest way to start it up is by
pressing Windows Logo Key+R, entering
cmd, and hitting Return. In
the Command Prompt, use the following command to navigate to the
$ cd /D %userprofile%\Desktop\swc-python\data
Option 1: Launch “plain vanilla” Python interpreter
To start working with Python, we need to launch a program that will interpret and execute our Python commands. To launch a “plain vanilla” Python interpreter, execute:
If you are using Git Bash on Windows, you have to call Python via
$ winpty python
Option 2: Start Jupyter Notebook
Jupyter Notebook provides a browser-based interface for working with Python. If you would like to use a notebook during the lesson, make sure to install Anaconda distribution.
To start a Jupyter server, execute:
$ jupyter notebook
Then create a new notebook by clicking “New” button on the right and selecting “Python 3” from the drop-down menu:
Option 3: Start IPython interpreter
IPython is an alternative solution situated somewhere in between the plain vanilla Python interpreter and Jupyter Notebook. It provides an interactive command-line based interpreter with various convenience features and commands. You should have IPython on your system if you installed Anaconda distribution.
To start using IPython, execute: