Teaching Python in the Meteorology Program at Millersville University

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 1:45 PM
Room C302 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Alex J. DeCaria, Millersville University, Millersville, PA

In 2012 the Millersville University meteorology program began teaching an annual, dedicated course called ‘Scientific Programming, Analysis, and Visualization with Python'. This course is a conversion of an existing, similar course using IDL. The switch to Python was made to make the course more relevant to the majority of our students, most of whom will not have access to IDL once they graduate. The course assumes prior programming experience, and introduces the students to Python syntax and control structures, as well as a detailed treatment of the Matplotlib plotting library and the NumPy and SciPy libraries. The course is quite popular with students, many of whom take it as an extra course above what is required by the degree program. Python programming is also embedded in the ‘Numerical Modeling of the Atmosphere and Oceans' course. Although students have a choice of which programming language to use for their projects in the modeling course, most of them choose to use Python due to its simplicity and utility.