Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center

Nov 10, 2019

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Instructors: Kathy Yeater

Helpers: TBA

Welcome to the Intro to Python Workshop page! This one-day workshop is being offered in conjunction with the 2019 ASA-CCSA-SSSA Annual Meeting. All registered attendees have been notified and are provided access to these setup materials for the workshop. As of 10/25/2019, the registration is closed. Prior to the workshop, it is very important to perform the Python install (See Python Install Instructions below) as well as download all data files (See Setup Page: Download Data link in Schedule below). Internet will be available during the workshop, but it is not meant for heavy use. Also, administrative rights will most likely be required for the Python install, so please plan accordingly.

General Information

Data Carpentry develops and teaches workshops on the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research. Its target audience is researchers who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons are domain specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their own research. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

For more information on what we teach and why, please see our paper "Good Enough Practices for Scientific Computing".

Who: The course is aimed at graduate students, post docs, academic, government and industry researchers. You don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop.

Where: Room 006B (River Level - enter at the Lila Cockrell Theater. Get directions with OpenStreetMap or Google Maps.

When: Nov 10, 2019. Add to your Google Calendar.

Requirements: Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on. They should have a few specific software packages installed (listed below).

Code of Conduct: Everyone who participates in Carpentries activities is required to conform to the Code of Conduct. This document also outlines how to report an incident if needed.

Accessibility: We are committed to making this workshop accessible to everybody. The workshop organizers have checked that:

Contact: Please email kathleen.yeater@usda.gov for more information.


Please be sure to complete these surveys before and after the workshop.

Pre-workshop Survey

Post-workshop Survey



Introduction to Python

  • Starting with Data in Python
  • Indexing, Slicing, and Subsetting DataFrames
  • Data Types and Formats
  • Combining DataFrames with Pandas
  • Data Workflows and Automation
  • Data Visualisation with plotnine
  • Data Visualisation with matplotlib

  • Setup

    To participate in a Data Carpentry workshop, you will need access to the software described below. In addition, you will need an up-to-date web browser.

    We maintain a list of common issues that occur during installation as a reference for instructors that may be useful on the Configuration Problems and Solutions wiki page.


    Python is a popular language for research computing, and great for general-purpose programming as well. Installing all of its research packages individually can be a bit difficult, so we recommend Anaconda, an all-in-one installer.

    Regardless of how you choose to install it, please make sure you install Python version 3.x (e.g., 3.6 is fine).

    We will teach Python using the Jupyter notebook, a programming environment that runs in a web browser. For this to work you will need a reasonably up-to-date browser. The current versions of the Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers are all supported (some older browsers, including Internet Explorer version 9 and below, are not).

    1. Open https://www.anaconda.com/download/#linux with your web browser.
    2. Download the Python 3 installer for Linux.
      (The installation requires using the shell. If you aren't comfortable doing the installation yourself stop here and request help at the workshop.)
    3. Open a terminal window.
    4. Type
      bash Anaconda3-
      and then press Tab. The name of the file you just downloaded should appear. If it does not, navigate to the folder where you downloaded the file, for example with:
      cd Downloads
      Then, try again.
    5. Press Return. You will follow the text-only prompts. To move through the text, press Spacebar. Type yes and press enter to approve the license. Press enter to approve the default location for the files. Type yes and press enter to prepend Anaconda to your PATH (this makes the Anaconda distribution the default Python).
    6. Close the terminal window.