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When: September 17, 2018 (6 - 8 PM)

Where: 33 Oxford St. (Maxwell-Dworkin), Room 119

Who is this for: This is primarily for classes, but beginning researchers might benefit as well. The users are expected to have Harvard affiliation. If you have Harvard affiliation and do not have HUID, please request XID by visiting:




What are the topics: This session will be a simple introduction to Python. We will discuss variables, collections, control of flow, and functions. We will briefly touch on classes. If time permits, we may look at simple file operations including elementary data processing.

Python installation and Jupyter Notebook on your laptop:

1) We plan to have a jupyterhub installation for this tutorial. In order to use it, you need to have HUID or XID. See the link for requesting XID above.

2) You can also install the Anaconda version of python on our laptop and use it instead. This will also allow you to have a python installation locally.

Please visit the link below for Anaconda installation:


  • Choose Python 3 (3.6 as of this writing)
  • On Mac, if the graphical installer does not work, choose the command line installer.

Running Jupyter Notebook:

Helpful links on Anaconda, ipython notebooks etc:

Tutorial Materials 

The rest of this page assumes you have installed Anaconda.

Attached below are the Ipython notebooks for the tutorial. You are not required to have these unless you are trying to follow along. If you download these, put them in the same directory.

On windows, the simplest option is to put these files in the "Ipython Notebooks" directory in the "My Documents" directory under "Documents" (i.e Documents --> My Documents --> IPython Notebooks).

You can open Ipython Notebook on various OSs as follows:

On Mac and LInux, open a terminal (and on Windows, open a command prompt) and change to the directory where your notebooks are. Then type:

jupyter notebook

from the directory where you have all the following files (you need to have Anaconda bin directory in the path). Once the jupyter notebook server and the browser are up, you will see the files with 'ipynb' extension in the dashboard. Clicking on it will open it.

(On windows, there should be an ipython notebook launcher under Anaconda in the Start Menu. However, the better option is to open the notebook as described above.)




custom.css — for changing the appearance of the notebook (optional)