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LC | Basis Programming in Python

LC Basic Programming in Python

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Introduction

Many FEB thesis projects (both bachelor and master) require some programming. Companies (especially technology dominated ones) look for candidates who know what they are talking about with regards to programming. Unfortunately there are many students who do not acquire these skills until after their studies.
Programming within FEB is compulsory only as a first-year bachelor course for the Econometrics and Operations Research students. The rest of the students have to find other resources to learn how to program. Some students are self-learners; however few people have the inclination and drive to self-learn programming. Others take various programming courses offered at FSE, but taking extracurricular courses puts a high strain on the time management of students who attempt this. As a middle ground, we developed this learning community to have the equivalent learning support of a course, but with less overhead.

Programming as a skill, does not necessarily mean to master a specific programming language like C++, Java or Python. In its essence, becoming a programmer is to develop a new way of thinking, and it can be achieved by learning its trade indepedent of the language used. Another essential element in becoming an effective programmer is to overcome the 'fear' and frustration that are common emotions encountered by most of the beginners.

The goal of our learning community for programming is to prepare students to tackle problems during their thesis project that necessitate a certain level of programming skills. Because some students may already have some basic skills, we work in two tracks:

  • the basic skills track and
  • the projects track.

In the basic skills track, we have planned weekly two hour tutorials, for the whole duration of the first block (1.1). Students also have to do homework exercises to practice their skills, and also read materials given by us.
The projects track is intended for students who already have some programming skills. To determine your level, a short programming test will be given at the start of the track. We will group the students in groups of 3-4, based on similar skill level. These groups will work on ongoing software development projects either of their own design, or suggested by us. Every two weeks, each project will present their progress to the basic track students and each other, so we can share experiences.

In the second block (1.2), the students who finish the basic track will join the projects track (as members of existing groups, or forming new groups) and their skills will be improved by 'doing' and less by 'explaining'. The second block will still feature tutorials, based on the needs of the projects, for example on project management.

After completing the activities in both blocks, those students who managed to develop a sufficient programming product will get a certificate from us.


The learning community is open for: BSc and MSc students from all study programmes within FEB and FSE
Lecturers involved: Dr. Nick B. Szirbik and dhr. Vincent Velthuizen (TA)
External business contacts involved: n/a


Main benefits

Learning outcomes:

  • Develop the programmers' way of thinking
  • Acquire the mindset necessary to complete a programming task
  • Ability to understand Python code, develop medium-difficulty applications in Python
  • Ability to use collaborative development platforms, like GitHub

Skills covered:

  • Technical, i.e. programming skills
  • Analytical skills, especially problem solving
  • Social skills like team working
  • Presentations skills, present technical work to others


Schedule and Time Investment

Schedule:

Weekly two hours plenary sessions have been scheduled:

  • Day and time changed: this learning community is now scheduled for Thursdays 17.00 - 19.00 uur, starting at September 20th:
    wks 38-40, wk 43 and wk 46, meetings are in room 5415.0042 (4 and 5)
    wk 41, 42 and 47, meetings are in room 5415.0032
    wks 49-51, meetings are in room 5415.0031 (2 and 3)
    (no meetings are scheduled during exam periods)

Students are expected to do their homework exercises and be well-prepared to ask help.

Time investment:

In total, time investment is estimated at approximately 5 hours per week. For the whole semester, a total of 100 hours of effort is expected form you.


Interested?

Sign up via the blue button below (downloading takes a few seconds)! Registration is open until September 19th.

Keep an eye on the student portal for more information! In case you have any questions, feel free to contact Marjan van Ittersum: a.g.t.van.ittersum-leegte@rug.nl.

An information session will be held on September 13th, at 17.00 h, in room 5415.0042. Professor Szirbik and dhr. Velthuizen will be available for questions and information.

Last modified:20 September 2018 1.33 p.m.