Students cheer on the Redhawks during a sporting event at Miami University.

What is Python?

Python is a widely used high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, object-oriented programming language. It is becoming more and more popular for doing data analysis. Python can do many things that we would like it to do such as data wrangling, data munging, data engineering, website app development, website scraping, etc. It is used by programmers or developers that want to explore data analysis or apply statistical tools. In addition, it is easy to write large-scale, maintainable, and robust code with Python since it is an object-oriented programming language. Python is known for its simplicity in coding; it is excellent for beginners. The core principles of Python are summarized by The Zen of Python, which includes standards such as
  • Beautiful is better than ugly
  • Simple is better than complex
  • Readability counts
  • Now is better than never

More detail can be found in Python Success Stories.

We recommend the Python integrated development environment Spyder as it is well-designed for scientific computing and the popular packages associated of this type of work such as NumPy, SciPy, pandas and matplotlib are supported.

We install Spyder via Anaconda since several apps are also included, especially a very useful and popular web application Jupyter Notebook is installed. For more detail about Jupyter Notebook, check out the section of Python Presentation Tools.

For more on Python packages see PyPi - the Python Package Index

Click on Beginners to start learning Python now!