Introduction to Programming for Data Science
Offers an introductory course on fundamentals of programming and data structures.
Covers lists, arrays, trees, hash tables, etc.;
program design, programming practices, testing, debugging, maintainability, data collection techniques,
and data cleaning and preprocessing.
Includes a class project, where students use the concepts covered to collect data from the web,
clean and preprocess the data, and make it ready for analysis.
(This course description is from the Academic Catalog.)
- Instructor: Philip Bogden, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office Hours: Fridays 2-4pm or by appointment (on Teams: https://teams.northeastern.edu)
- Piazza: Class-related Q&A: https://piazza.com/class/kye80qzrk8z4y4
- Canvas: Schedule, assignments, grades: https://northeastern.instructure.com/courses/
- Github: Assignment submissions – you’ll be invited to github classroom using your northeastern email.
- Colab: Prototyping and in-class exercises. Use your husky.neu.edu email: https://colab.research.google.com
This course builds on the foundation provided by CS 5001, 5002 and 5003.
Students will apply programming basics to the design and implementation of data science applications.
In particular, students will be introduced to programming as a collaborative discipline.
The primary language is Python. At the end of DS 5010, a student should be able to do the following:
- Acquire data from various sources
- Design and write a program that uses a Python’s built-in data structures to…
- Read and process a large collection (more than 100) of files on a local or remote file system
- Read and process data from a web-accessible API
- Compute basic statistics and create standard charts (histograms, scatterplots, etc.) with Matplotlib
- Document code so others can use it, including:
- Detailed in-line documentation for functions and modules.
- API documentation for packages.
- Clean, well-organized, self-documenting code (and knowing when that’s sufficient).
- Write modular code for an entire data processing pipeline that includes:
- Testing (and test-driven development when appropriate) with standard tools,
- Error checking, raising exceptions that help with debugging data,
- Automating tasks when appropriate.
- Manage version-controlled source code for a small project
- Write project documentation for reproducibility, with proper and authoritative attribution.
- Develop code collaboratively using git and github command-line tools
- Use pull requests to communicate and discuss issues with collaborators
- Use common packages for data manipulation and basic visualization (e.g., Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib)
- Know when to use these packages for efficient implementation of tasks learned in the beginning of the course.
- Know how to read and use the standard API documentation for usage and customization.
- Know when to use (and not to use) stackoverflow, google and random blogs on the Internet.
- Read & process common non-tabular data formats (e.g., JSON, GeoJSON, shapefiles)
- Combine disparate datasets and data types (e.g., with FIPS codes) to facilitate geospatial analysis
- Perform basic geospatial data visualization using matplotlib
- Use other standard tools for geospatial visualization and analysis.
- Write functionally equivalent code in Python
Schedule (Spring 2022)
The schedule below and other detail in this syllabus are subject to change.
||github, colab, jupyter
||Basics of reading and plotting data
||Case Study #1: Vaccine effectiveness
||Case Study #2: Data structures
||Case Study #3: Numpy, Pandas & Seaborn
||Case Study #4: USGS Earthquakes API
||Spring Break – NO CLASS
||Case Study #5: GPCOG project
- Case studies – Students will develop code collaboratively on a series of case studies that are central to the course.
- Project – A final XN-style project/case study will span several weeks at the end of the course.
- Lecture – Lectures will provide context for in-class acitivies, but account for a small fraction of total class time.
- In-class exercises – collaborative software-development activities will advance the case studies.
- Homework assignments – individual assignments and collaborative coding will continue between class sessions.
- Reading – Occasional reading assignments will be assigned in advance of related in-class exercises.
- Quizzes – Occasional short (~15-minute) quizzes will assess reading comprehension.
- In-class discussion – Immediately following quizzes we’ll discuss quiz solutions.
Projects allow students to gain experience working in small teams on practical problems.
Code development occurs with a shared github repository using basic tools for collaborative coding
such as prototyping in branches, pull requests, merging after independent collaborator review,
discussing new functionality with “issues”, etc.
Project documentation, attribution and reproducibility are critically important.
Documentation should have sufficient detail so that another technical teams could pick
up and expand upon the project at a later date.
Projects include a front-facing github-pages site that provides an overview understandable by a non-technical audience.
The repo and gh-pages site can contribute to student porfolios.
Examples from Spring 2022:
- Python Data Science Handbook (2016) by Jake VanderPlas
- We’ll use Chapters 2-4, which cover data management, processing and visualization with Numpy, Pandas and Matplotlib.
- DS 5110 covers the material in Chapter 5 on machine learning with Scikit-Learn.
- The entire book is available for free on github in the form of Jupyter notebooks that launch automatically in Colab.
- A Whirlwind Tour of Python (2016) by Jake VanderPlas
- The book is freely available as HTML and on Github as a collection of executable Jupyter notebooks.
- Python for Data Analysis, 3rd Ed (August 2022) by Wes McKinney
- Data wrangling with Pandas, Numpy & Jupyter – the 3rd edition is open-access
- Learning Python, 5th Edition by Mark Lutz
- This book published in 2013 (old) has complementary material on OOP.
- R for Data Science (R4DS) by Wickham & Grolemund
You should have a standard Python development environment installed on your computer,
including a text editor or IDE. You will find modern recommendations in McKinney’s text.
You should also install Git as described here: https://docs.github.com/en/get-started/quickstart/set-up-git.