Take Two

More programming in tutorials

Posted by on December 3, 2017

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Reproducible Analysis

A pythoninchemistry cross-post

I really should have written this a couple of weeks ago, but life got in the way a bit.

So two weeks ago we had our second physical chemistry tutorial of the year – and my second chance to use Jupyter notebooks and Python to augment the tutorial. The notebook from this week can be found here.

In this week’s tutorial nearly all of the questions were mathematical in nature, which is a huge bonus for the utility of the notebooks. However, due to the lack of a plotting based question – or in many ways a question with a significant problem solving aspect (no disrespect to the author of the questions). The level of engagement with the notebooks was not the same as the previous week.

Regardless, I feel there were two significant positives from this week:

  • I noted that the students were very easily able to follow along with the syntax used in the Python code. This is of course a much trodden benefit of Python; the readability to non-experts. this definitely showed in the tutorial.
  • All of the students appeared to appreciate the ability of the notebook to quickly produce the answer (even just for there own peace of mind). Rather than the previous method I have used where I take a calculator along to the tutorial, or better yet borrow a students.

Other news on the Python front at bath is the push to introduce more chemistry students to Python is becoming more formalised, with the launch of the pythoninchemistry blog. Where two academics and myself have been working on developing a series of notebooks and blog posts giving both an introduction to Python but also some examples for how it can be used in the chemical sciences.

I have my third tutorial this week so will try and update more quickly this time. Finger crossed for electrochemistry.