The plan for the second week is to start learning some basic Python notions. Before that, I usually introduce the notion of pseudocode as an easy way of describe how to solve problems. This allows me to discuss problems for which we do not have all the necessary programming background to implement them. I tend to keep a fairly informal definition of pseudocode. After that, I introduce the notions of data types and variables. We learn about integers, floats and strings. I also discuss branching (if-then-else) as a first way of controlling the flow of the program.
Without being too formal, the notion of pseudocode is introduced and used to design the solution how to generate the ing form of an English verb. The solution is not complete. It is just a proof of concept. If you send me a more complete solution, I will be more than happy to include it in the slides (making sure the author is acknowledged).
Variable and data types in Python
This video introduces the notion of data type and gives examples of data types in Python. After that it defines the notion of variable and shows how variables are used in Python.
The first data type discussed in more detail is strings. I introduce strings and discuss the operations that can be applied to them.
Controlling the flow of the program (part 1): branching
The if-then-else statement is introduced as the first way to control the flow of execution. In addition, the lecture introduces the Boolean data type and operations that can be applied to this data type.
If you have difficulties navigating these slides have a look at this post.
Exercises for this week
- This week I normally give students some simple exercises with strings. At some point in the future I will probably make the available.
- Read chapters 2 and 3 from Michael Dawson (2010) Python Programming for the absolute beginner. Course Technology PTR
- Watch What exactly is an algorithm? Algorithms explained from BBC Ideas