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Python for Ecology
PURUCKER, S. T. AND T. Hong. Python for Ecology. Presented at 97th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Portland, OR, August 05 - 10, 2012.
Python is a high-level scripting language that is becoming increasingly popular for scientific computing. This all-day workshop is designed to introduce the basics of Python programming to ecologists. Some scripting/programming experience is recommended (e.g. familiarity with R). The morning session will teach the basics of Python. Most of the material is presented within the Python shell and will consist of 15 minute demonstration sections followed by hands-on exercises. This session will touch on computer science basics and how they are implemented in Python. Topics include numbers, operators, lists, modules, functions, namespaces, exceptions, etc. The afternoon session will venture into the Numpy and Scipy packages for scientific computing. Numpy is a basic package for scientific computing with Python. It adds to Python data arrays that can access to a large library of mathematical functions and operations. It is the basis for all Scipy packages which extends vastly the computational and algorithmic capabilities of Python. SciPy is open-source software for STEM fields and provides many user-friendly and efficient numerical routines such as routines for numerical integration and optimization. We will overview some of the commonly used sub-packages in SciPy, providing coverage of the mathematical models, the software architecture, and some examples and exercises. Attendees should bring a laptop (Windows, Mac, or Linux) with Python 2.7 installed.