Python Training

Python for Scientists & Engineers

We offer specialist courses in Python for science and engineering. These include the core concepts and types of Python (day 1) and specific help on manipulating data for scientific and engineering applications (days 3-4).


Some familiarity with programming concepts (in any language) is assumed.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of the course, you will have all the knowledge you need to use Python to solve problems involving the use of various scientific data sets. You will know what's available with Python, how to structure your code, and how to use Python's data structures competently to write clean, efficient code. You will have had experience with using Python for various scripting and data manipulation tasks, including easily creating beautiful plots, performing Monte Carlo simulations and image analysis, analysing time-series data, constructing statistical models, and scaling up to handling medium-sized (sub-terabyte) data.

Course Syllabus

Day 1: Introduction to Python

Day 1 covers the basics of using Python for general programming tasks, including tips and tricks for making this easy. The syllabus is as follows:

  • Why use Python? What’s possible? Python versus other languages
  • How to install a complete Python development environment (with plotting etc.)
  • The IPython notebook and shell for rapid prototyping
  • Python syntax and concepts
  • Input and output of string and binary data
  • Useful data structures, tips and tricks
  • Tour of the amazing standard library (including handling dates, CSV files, zip files)
  • Day 2: Essentials of Scientific Computing with Python

    Day 2 teaches the use of Python for numerical and scientific computing. It covers array and matrix manipulation, working with labelled and tabular data, an overview of available scientific routines, and creating simple but beautiful 2D plots, with the packages NumPy, SciPy, Matplotlib, and Pandas. The syllabus is:

  • Introduction to numerical data manipulation with NumPy
  • Tour of SciPy and related packages for scientific data manipulation, with fancy demos: optimization, statistical modelling, regression, clustering, sparse matrices, image processing
  • 2D plotting and visualisation with Matplotlib
  • Introduction to data analysis with Pandas
  • Day 3: Handling, Analyzing, and Presenting Data in Python

    Day 3 gives a comprehensive introduction to reading and writing the most important data formats in science and engineering and how to visualize statistical data easily. The syllabus is:

  • Reading and writing essential data formats: CSV, Excel, SQL databases, and (optionally) NetCDF, Matlab
  • Data analysis with Pandas in depth
  • Time-series analysis with Pandas; parsing dates, resampling, handling time-zones
  • Visualisation and statistical graphics with Seaborn and Plotly
  • Day 4: Scaling Up & Integration

    Day 4 focuses on techniques for scaling from small problems and small datasets to big ones that require special techniques for handling them. These include speeding up computational code, interfacing with existing code in other languages, and distributing processing over moderate-sized clusters.

  • Parallel computing with Dask and IPython.parallel
  • Efficiency: tools for benchmarking and profiling; techniques for speeding up numerical Python code by 4x to 10,000x
  • Interfacing Python with other programming languages: C/C++, Fortran, R (on request)
  • Managing huge hierarchical and multidimensional datasets (HDF5) with h5py and xarray
  • Supplemental materials

    We will supply you with printed course notes and a USB stick containing a complete Python environment based on VirtualBox. This saves time in the course and allows us to focus on using Python rather than installing it. The USB stick also contains kitchen-sink Python installers for multiple platforms, solutions to the programming exercises, several written tutorials, and reference documentation on Python and the third-party packages covered in the course.

    Other information

    Personal help:
    Your trainer(s) will be available after the course each day for you to ask any one-on-one questions you like — whether about the course material and exercises or about specific problems you face in your work and how to use Python to solve them.
    Food and drink:
    We will provide lunch, morning and afternoon tea, and drinks.
    The course will run from 9:00 to roughly 17:00 each day, with a breaks of an hour for lunch and 15 minutes each for morning and afternoon tea.

    Upcoming Courses

    08/05/2017 at Canberra

    10/07/2017 at Melbourne

    14/08/2017 at Sydney

    We also offer custom courses on-site for teams within organisations. These are particularly appropriate if your team uses particular tools or data sources in its workflow. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

    Upcoming Public Courses


    Python for Network Engineering:
    22 Mar – 24 Mar 2017

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    Python for Predictive Data Analytics:
    27 Mar – 30 Mar 2017

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    Introduction to Python:
    27 Mar – 28 Mar 2017

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    Python for Scientists & Engineers:
    08 May – 12 May 2017

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    Python for Scientists & Engineers:
    10 Jul – 14 Jul 2017

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    Python for Scientists & Engineers:
    14 Aug – 18 Aug 2017

    View Details Book Now



    “One of the best programming courses I have attended - thanks!”

    - Giant Billen, IAG Insurance

    “Excellent training course, excellently presented. Perhaps the best that I have had in the area of IT / programming.”

    - George Grozev, CSIRO (Clayton)

    “Both Ed and Henry presented well…. The course structure was adjusted to suit the participants quickly and easily.”

    - Jenet Austin, CSIRO (Black Mountain Laboratory)

    “Course content was well presented and easily digested. Practical exercises were an essential part of the course – a good ratio of lecture/play was achieved. Well done Ed and Henry!”

    - Steve Zegelin, CSIRO (Black Mountain Laboratory)

    “Very comprehensive intro to every aspect of python. Highly qualified trainer. Beyond my expectation on every aspect. ”

    - Baichuan Sun, CSIRO (Clayton)

    “I loved it. Ed was inspiring.”

    - Onoriode Coast, CSIRO (Narrabri, NSW)

    “One of the best training courses I've been on.”

    - David Scurrah, Bureau of Meteorology (Melbourne)

    “Instructor was superb - very impressive. I really enjoyed the course - thanks!”

    - Steven Edgar, CSIRO (Hobart)

    “Simply awesome!!”

    - James Park, Cisco (St Leonards)

    “It was a pleasure ... Shared feedback from all involved was that it’s been one of the most beneficial and well delivered training courses we’ve been a part of.”

    - Dylan Matthews, Simply Energy / GDF Suez (Melbourne)

    “Very impressed with the course, delivery. And depth of knowledge of Ed and Henry. Far exceeded my expectations and has greatly improved my core skills as well as inspired so many new ideas for my current work / projects. Thank you!”

    - Kelsey Druken, National Computational Infrastructure (Canberra)

    “The course was delivered by trainers who were extremely knowledgeable in their field. It was really good to learn from the best!”

    - Marius Roman, Transurban (Melbourne)

    “Really impressed by Python's capability and excited to use as alternative to MatLab, as is free and better supported.”

    - Carsten Hofmann, OMC International (Melbourne)

    “Was the most fulfilling and rewarding class I have taken since "general relativity" at uni. Was extremely well run. Excellent all round!”

    - Dr Millicent Maier, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Sydney)

    “This course has shown me how I could have done the work I was doing just last week 10x more efficiently in Python.”

    - Maruf Rahman, Geoscience Australia (Canberra)

    “The VM setup and USB is great. Ed is an excellent instructor - he presents well and welcomes any questions. He is clearly a super smart guy who has a great grasp on what he is teaching - able to just prototype on the fly and the course overall really opened my eyes to python. ”

    - Jack Hendy, Optiver (Sydney)

    “Great course. Enjoyed it and will follow up with some practical implementation of some of the work.”

    - Adam Grace, Optus (Sydney)