From Fortran to Python: Teaching Computer Skills to Undergraduates

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014: 1:30 PM
Room C302 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Kevin H. Goebbert, Valparaiso Univ., Valparaiso, IN; and T. M. Bals-Elsholz

For the past twelve years the Valparaiso University meteorology program has offered a class on Meteorological Computer Applications, in which FORTRAN is used as the computer language to teach basic programming skills. This course has been successful in preparing and enabling undergraduate students to develop and adapt their computer skills as graduate students and professionals in the field. With the growth in use and applications of Python within atmospheric science, this course has been modified to introduce students to both FORTRAN and Python. The course uses a mixture of pre-class web-based instruction and in-class activities to develop computer logic skills. The goal is to have students' problem solving how to tackle programming projects with general logic and applying the best language to accomplish the task.