[IPython-dev] [IPython-User] IPython Notebooks and Active Learning (Matthew Brett)

Doug Blank doug.blank at gmail.com
Wed Jul 30 07:33:03 EDT 2014

Excellent project! What is the license for these? It would be great if they
were Creative Commons Share with Attribution, or similar:


I can imagine using variations of these for a Physics curriculum.

On Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 4:26 AM, Matthias Bussonnier <
bussonniermatthias at gmail.com> wrote:

> If I may suggest too, please use header cell instead of hash in markdown.
> Header cell are used for section when converting to latex and do
> automatically generate anchors on nbviewer/html so that you can link to
> subpart:
> Example :
> http://nbviewer.ipython.org/url/jdj.mit.edu/~stevenj/IJulia%20Preview.ipynb#Multimedia-display-in-IJulia

Being in the middle of writing similar notebooks, we found that using
header cells can be quite painful when it comes to moving sections around.
For example, if you want to move a section, one has to individually select,
press up/down, for all cells in a section.

So, we wrote "Move Section Up"/"Move Section Down" buttons and have
included those in calico-document-tools. The tool will move all cells in a
section/subsection up or down. You can install it:

ipython install-nbextension https://bitbucket.org/ipre/calico/downloads/

You can then begin to use them in your notebooks by loading them


Or, if you want to load them always, put that line in your:

$(ipython locate)/profile_default/static/custom/custom.js

That collection of tools also contains: section numbering, table of
contents, and a beta version of bibliographic support.


> On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 11:16 PM, Matthew Brett <matthew.brett at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> On Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 4:50 PM, Mark Bakker <markbak at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > We have developed a series of 15 Notebooks for scientists and engineers
>> who
>> > want to use Python programming for exploratory computing, scipting, data
>> > analysis, and visualization. No prior knowledge of computer programming
>> is
>> > assumed. Each Notebook covers a specific topic and includes a number of
>> > exercises. The exercises should take less than 4 hours to complete for
>> each
>> > Notebook.
>> >
>> > We have developed these Notebooks for an undergraduate class
>> (sophomores) in
>> > Civil Engineering. A short survey of the students taking the class
>> (~270 of
>> > them) showed that the students really liked the class and learned a lot.
>> >
>> > The Notebooks may be viewed at
>> > http://mbakker7.github.io/exploratory_computing_with_python/
>> > A link to the GitHub repository is also shown on this page.
>> Thanks a lot for this.   From our feedback, our students liked the
>> notebooks too - e.g.
>> "I appreciate the downloadable iPython notebooks with explanations of
>> what the code is and does - will be a great reference"
>> I think there's really no question that the notebooks make running
>> code examples easier and clearer for the teacher and the student.  And
>> they are indeed a great reference.   The question always is - what do
>> we want to teach?  In some cases it's probably enough that the
>> students get the idea, and running / writing code in the notebooks
>> helps them get the idea.   But the students also implicitly learn that
>> this is the standard way of working with code, and I personally don't
>> think we should be teaching that.  So, for me at least, I am trying to
>> find a way to strike a balance between the ease of writing materials /
>> ease of getting students running code, and the need for teaching solid
>> working practice. For example, for the next iteration of our course,
>> I'm thinking of doing a flipped classroom format, with the tutorials
>> mostly in IPython notebooks, but doing the exercises in class using
>> text editor and terminal and git.  I'd also like to try and teach the
>> IPython notebook as a great tool for sharing and explaining a
>> workflow, or developing a tutorial.
>> Cheers,
>> Matthew
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