[portland] Recommendation for book to use in classroom?

Thomas Hamlin thomashamlin at gmail.com
Fri Jan 16 06:46:12 CET 2009


You might check out Toby Segaran's Programming Collective Intelligence  
(2007 O'Reilly).  It's chock full of practical Python code, and the  
students will be exposed to a broad range of algorithms (clustering,  
search/query/ranking, Bayesian classification, neural networks) and  
useful libraries for parsing and working with data.  While the topics  
sound quite advanced, the book remains accessible because of its focus  
on applied programming.  I can imagine lots of interesting assignments  
around the topics in the book.

However, you'll have to see whether he addresses the more  
"interesting" language constructs of Python, since the examples are  
fairly focused and rather scripty.  You could augment it with an  
exploration of the internals of one of the  interesting Python  
packages, say SQLAlchemy or one of the web app frameworks...

(I agree on Kirby's Safari online library suggestion, too).


On Jan 15, 2009, at 9:22 PM, Charles Anderson wrote:

> Does anyone have a recommendation for a (text) book to use for  
> teaching
> Python to students who already know Java?  I'll be teaching a  
> college class
> in spring to students who have had at least 2 quarters of Java.  So,  
> they
> should be hip to the basics of programming - e.g., conditionals,  
> iteration,
> methods, classes, etc.  I'd like to focus on "more interesting" bits  
> of
> Python that are difficult or impossible in straight Java - e.g.,
> introspection, duck-typing, possibly metaclasses.
> thanks,
> Charles.
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