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Welcome – Dr. Chuck

This course is dedicated to the notion that every single person on the planet can write programs. Start learning now with professor Charles Severance.
Python for Everybody Charles Severance, PhD. So welcome back to the second half of the programming. Getting started really. In this, we’re going to talk about data structures. Data structures are very important. In a way they’re more important for control flow because we can, the control flow it just sort of falls out. Once you know how to do it, it’s sort of like go here, turn left, do that. But the data structures are ways that you can make your programs much shorter. You can figure out the best way as your program is stepping through the things it’s going to do of representing your data.
And it really shortens and simplifies it, and so the art of building data structures and solving a problem by cleverly. So these structures can be thought of like a picture on a board, of like this. So there are variables that you can put like more than one thing. Like a string can have more than one characters. Files can have more than one line. Lists can have multiple elements. Dictionaries can have multiple elements that we look up by a key, and so that’s what we’re going to learn about, like, you’re what’s a key? Well, that’s what we’re going to cover, like, key value pairs, some people call them property bags, associated arrays.
These are the things that make you really a programmer, not just to build it, to drive your little, little python around in a circle, but instead create, absorb some data, organize it in a way, sort it slightly, pull something out. So, this is where we’re actually doing data processing, and so these collections of strings, files, lists, dictionaries, and tuples, these are the tools that use to make variables far more worthwhile. So, good luck! I look forward to seeing you in the lectures.

Welcome to Python Data Structures, the second class in our Programming for Everybody series. We have built these classes specifically for those with no prior programming experience. With a relatively simple book, and basic exercises that focus on the core concepts of programming, we hope that you will have a solid understanding of the topics in this course and be well prepared to continue your programming studies.

We assume that you have completed the previous course in the sequence before starting this class. If you find yourself needing some review, please go back and review the material in Getting Started with Python.

Please take your time and learn these concepts well, as there is little value rushing towards more advanced material without proper preparation.

This course is taught by Dr. Charles Severance. Charles Severance (a.k.a Dr. Chuck) is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information, where he teaches various technology-oriented courses including programming, database design, and Web development. Chuck has written a number of books including Using Google App Engine, and Python for Everybody. His research field is in the building of learning management systems such as Sakai, Moodle, Blackboard, ANGEL, and others. He was the chief architect for the Sakai Project, a learning management system used at about 300 schools worldwide and wrote the book Sakai: Free as in Freedom, that describes his experiences as one of the leaders of the project. In the mid-1990s he was the host of Internet:TCI, a national television talk show about the Internet that ran for several years on the TCI cable system. He was long-time a columnist for the IEEE Computer Magazine writing a monthly column called “Computing Conversations” that features video interviews with famous technology leaders and innovators.

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