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Python for Informatics: Exploring Information Paperback – September 2, 2013
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About the Author
Charles Severance is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan where he teaches Informatics courses; he has also taught Computer Science at Michigan State University. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Sakai Foundation and the Chief Architect of the Sakai Project (www.sakaiproject.org). His home page is http://www.dr-chuck.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most books looked like they'd been written in 1985, with C/Pascal replaced by Python.
Severance's book felt much more modern, with its emphasis on applications like HTTP services and SQL. The treatment of data structures, which tends to be most of the focus for other books, is limited to the key data structures that programmers use everyday, and not implementation details (e.g., Red-Black BSTs), which are not meaningful in this day and age.
I like the short, and to the point writing style, and the supplemental online resources.
Two places for improvements: more exercises, and an online forum to discuss the book (e.g., discourse.org).
This is not the book for you if you want to learn about the details of things like binary search, heaps, shortest path algorithms - for that Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein's opus is appropriate.
However, for the vast majority of readers looking to learn enough to start programming real-world in a short time, look no further.
1) Sign up for Dr. Chuck's python course on Coursera and do all the lessons.
2) Get this book (Coursera course is based on it).
You will learn enough Python to finally make some sense of the other books you gave up on.
" Dr. Chuck" as he is called, has laid out the book in a very logical way, with very useful
examples. Between this book, and his class (FREE on Coursera), you will be rewarded.
The biggest request from the classroom boards, after completion, seems to be a fervent
wish for Dr. Chuck to offer a follow up class. 5 Stars for the bundle!! (Dr.Chuck/book/Coursera) :)
Update: My daughter did not last long in going through the coursera book, but she is 13 after all and on to a different project of building a dollhouse. I had to delay taking the course until I had more time, and I am finding it both challenging and helpful. There are worked exercises for each week that follow the chapters in the book. I am finding that it takes me multiple attempts to get the exercises correct, so the process reminds me of how I learned math as a child. Nothing is better at getting information solidly learned than to work problems over and over. I would highly recommend the coursera course. It can be taken at no cost, or you can pay to get a certificate. I paid to get a certificate so that I would stay on track in taking the course. I added a picture of the instructor as Snape. He succeeds in making this course fun!
Update 10/21/15: I completed the first of five coursera courses based on the book. Finally, after attempting and failing to learn Java and SQL, I get the concept of using what is called a parameter in Python. I literally laugh out loud at some of the antics in the coursera videos that use this book.