[IPython-dev] IPython for Education

Clare Sloggett claresloggett at gmail.com
Thu Mar 20 22:20:36 EDT 2014

Hi Doug,

I'm still fairly new to IPython Notebook - is this idea (multiple different
logins) just talking about something you'd like to see, or are you talking
about technology which exists?

I've been thinking about using IPython Notebook for teaching by having each
student create a separate notebook, but I'm given pause by
a) it's very easy for students to mess with one anothers' notebooks, either
accidentally or on purpose
b) all students would be based in the same working directory so they could
easily corrupt one anothers' data files - this would be even more likely to
happen by accident than (a).

The best I've come up with so far is to create a set of notebook profiles
with different passwords, and launch a server instance per student on
different ports. If there is currently a way of handling multiple users in
IPython Notebook I'd be interested!

Of course the other option is to have students run their notebook on
localhost on their own computer, but sometimes we're in a lab situation
where I don't have a lot of control over the machines and this is difficult
to set up. Servers are easier in that situation.


On 21 March 2014 04:30, Doug Blank <doug.blank at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 20, 2014 at 1:06 PM, Alessandro Gagliardi
> <alessandro.gagliardi at glassdoor.com> wrote:
> > I was thinking about that. But my understanding is that when multiple
> people
> > are logged into the same IPython server, this might cause problems for
> the
> > server. Particularly if they are using the same notebook, it seems like
> the
> > kernel could easily get into an inconsistent state. Were you imagining
> that
> > the students would each be using their own notebook but hosted on a
> single
> > server? Or are there ways to have multiple users working on the same
> > notebook without it causing problems?
> I am imagining a Notebook Server where each user logs in with unique
> ID/password and controls their own kernels/clusters (perhaps similar
> to how Sage Cloud with IPython works). Students would be members of at
> least one, maybe more, classes. The server would need to be able to
> run (or farm out) at least one kernel per student.
> At that point, one can start to think about sharing, and interacting
> with students as users. A homework submission could just be a menu
> option. I guess I am thinking about a multi-user system, perhaps like
> Drupal/Wordpress built on Tornado for managing users as
> students/ta's/teachers/graders etc.
> -Doug
> > Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 12:17:49 -0400
> > From: Doug Blank <doug.blank at gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [IPython-dev] IPython for Education
> > To: IPython developers list <ipython-dev at scipy.org>
> > Message-ID:
> > <CAAusYChcc4VHK=HTHhVVHGXSX4rUw9g2wapMZXSVHo7E_xMxyg at mail.gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> >
> > Alessandro,
> >
> > I think you are right that there are many possibilities for using
> > IPython in the classroom. I think many of these could be explored more
> > easily if the students were logged in via an IPython server... at
> > least that is where I will be concentrating my explorations this year.
> > I could imagine: sharing, commenting, grading, hand-in methods,
> > testing, quizzes, and clicker-style anonymous polling ("are we all at
> > the same place? ready to move on?"), etc. It would be great to make a
> > list of such feature ideas, and prioritize....
> >
> > -Doug
> >
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