Introduction to Python Programming

Malvika Sharan   2019-04-09   Comments Off on Introduction to Python Programming

Date(s) - 2019-04-09 - 2019-04-10
09:30 CEST - 17:00 CEST


Malvika Sharan, Mattia Forneris

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to programming with the Python language. The course material is suitable for complete beginners, with no previous programming experience or knowledge required or assumed. Participants can work through the course at their own pace, so the materials are also suitable for those with some programming experience.

Python has grown in the last ten years to become one of the most widely-used programming languages in biology. This increasing popularity reflects how easy Python is to learn compared with other languages, and how adaptable it is to a wide variety of different tasks. Simultaneously, the rise of data-driven approaches to science means that programming skills are becoming more and more important for biologists.

The course will include several short taught sections but most of the time will be devoted to more informal, practical sessions allowing attendees to get to grips with the language at their own pace. This provides the perfect starting point for scientists who would like to begin programming, while also catering to more experienced programmers who just want to learn the fundamentals of a new language.

Participants will learn:

  • the basic concepts and building blocks of programming in Python
  • how to quickly automate repetitive tasks and calculations
  • the best ways of handling different types of data
  • working with the extensive catalogue of subject-specific modules available for Python
  • how to read data from a file, process, and summarise it
  • automating the visualisation of data using Python’s powerful plotting libraries

After attending the course, you will have a good understanding of the core themes of programming, and be able to write your own Python programs, to automate repetitive analysis tasks and produce visualisations of your data. In addition to these core themes, a series of more advanced tasks more directly relevant to biological applications will be available. The course organisers will be on hand to provide help and advice throughout the duration of the course.

Prerequisites: None

Participants can bring their own laptop to work with on the course, with the Anaconda Python Distribution (version 3.5 or above) installed. If you would like help installing Anaconda, please email Malvika Sharan in advance of the course.

Course Fee:

EMBL Bio-IT will offer the course for free to all EMBL members.

The external participants will be charged with a course fee of 60 Euros (to cover the lunch and infrastructure related cost). The invoice details will be shared via email.

Cancellation and No-Show:

Registration can be canceled free of charge until Friday 5th April 2019.

All participants will be charged a cancellation fee (if canceled after 5th April 2019) or no-show fee of 50 Euros. For EMBL members, this charge will be made to their group budget.


This event is fully booked.

About Malvika Sharan

I am a Community Outreach Coordinator for Bio-IT and Training Coordinator for ELIXIR Germany. Find me at EMBL-HD office 101 or at Bio-IT drop-in Sessions on Tuesdays 10:00-12:00 at the EMBL staff lounge. Contact Details: email -, Twitter -, GitHub -