[Edu-sig] Re: Python at Wesleyan

Louis Bertrand Louis.Bertrand@durhamc.on.ca
Thu, 25 Jul 2002 22:19:10 -0400

[replying to the digest -- look for LB: in text]

Message: 7
Date: Thu, 25 Jul 2002 19:59:05 -0400
To: edu-sig@python.org
From: Mitchell L Model <MLModel@wesleyan.edu>
Subject: [Edu-sig] Re: Edu-sig digest, Vol 1 #531 - 1 msg

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"

Just joined list and haven't taken the time to read the archives yet, 
so maybe this is a silly post, but I thought it worth putting out 
there that I will be teaching an Introduction to Programming for 
non-computer science majors at Wesleyan University this fall, having 
just taken a position there as a visiting professor.  I've convinced 
the other Computer Science faculty involved to abandon their attempts 
to make this course work with C++ and Java and to use Python instead.

LB: I applaud your efforts. I teach at Durham College,
LB: and I went through the process of convincing my colleagues that Python
LB: an interesting and viable alternative to the "production" languages like
LB: C++, Java and Visual Basic for the Intro to Programming course. There's 
LB: still a few potshots in the night but otherwise the furore has settled
down :)

I plan to use the textbook Learn to Program Using Python 
LB: Please read this book carefully first. I used it last year and the
LB: feedback I got is that it doesn't go into detail into some important
LB: concepts. Also, there are few examples and no exercises, so you have
LB: to supply a lot of the material yourself. Don't get me wrong, I
LB: found it interesting, but (as the subtitle suggests) it's meant for 
LB: self-starters and hobbyists who learn by tinkering. I found it
LB: for a first course with a fixed timeline and the dreaded final exam at 
LB: the end of the term.

with the Python Essential Reference 
as an optional resource.  I'll also point students to the online book 
How to Think Like a Computer Scientist : Learning with Python 
LB: I'm going to try ThinkCSpy this year, and I endorse Beazley's Reference
LB: as an essential resource (my copy is under my pillow at night).
LB: Good luck with the course!