This is an online guidebook to accompany A Gentle Introduction to Python, by Jonathan B. Miller, for the Liberal Arts Scholarship and Technology Summit (LASTS) at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, on Thursday, August 15th, 2013.

Workshop description

Stop fighting the computer and instead make it do your bidding. Learn how to get up and running with Python, a general-purpose coding language that is both newbie friendly yet very powerful. Python is used at large organizations such as Google, Yahoo!, CERN, and NASA, and in many famous applications including Youtube, Dropbox, Instagram, and Reddit. Attendees in this workshop will get a taste of basic computer science concepts via in-class examples and have opportunities to apply the knowledge in guided exercises. No coding experience is necessary. Learn by doing -- bring your computer.

About this code

This project relies on reStructuredText for content, Python for code samples and graph generation, and Dexy for bundling everything into a website.

This project is based loosely on the learn-x-the-hard-way framework by Zed Shaw.

Content may be used with permission.

Some content is borrowed from or inspired by exercises from my book Learn Stats in 10,000 Hours, a book that teaches Python-powered computational statistics to absolute beginners. Please consider browsing the book or purchasing a copy to help support more contributions to the open source and open book communities. Thanks!



If you need help, contact me at