About the content
Build on your existing knowledge of conditionals, loops, and functions by studying more about complex Python data structures, including strings, lists, dictionaries, and file input and output. Organized into five chapters, this course starts by covering the basics of data structures, then moves on to these four common data structures in Python:
- Strings let you perform far more complex reasoning with text.
- Lists let you process long lists of data, and even lists of lists of data for more complex reasoning.
- Dictionaries let you more clearly code for complex types of data, and even simulate some basic elements of object-oriented programming.
- File input and output brings your programs to life, allowing you to persist data across executions of the same program.
By the end of this course, you'll be able to write even more complex programs in Python that process and persist complex data structures. For example, you'll be able to write an ongoing gradebook application that tracks and updates your average over time, a program to calculate the net force based on several force magnitudes and directions, or a program that can turn a string like this into a StRiNg LiKe tHiS.
Structurally, the course is comprised of several parts. Instruction is delivered via a series of short (2-3 minute) videos. In between those videos, you'll complete both multiple choice questions and coding problems to demonstrate your knowledge of the material that was just covered.
- Strings, including advanced string methods.
- Tuples and lists, including multi-dimensional lists.
- File input and output, including multiple modes for file access.
- Dictionaries, including replicating object-oriented reasoning using dictionaries.
- Using control structures with data structures, such as looping over lists or error handling with files.
CS1301xII or equivalent knowledge is required. Certain problems may benefit from experience with algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, and trigonometry, but you can succeed without these.
Chapter 1. Data Structures. Building the fundamental types of data – Booleans, integers, floating point numbers, and characters -- into more complex strings, lists, and dictionaries that can be persisted in files.
Chapter 2. Strings. Working with series of characters that can represent plaintext messages, passwords, and more, including all the complexities of combining human language with programming code.
Chapter 3. Lists. Taking fundamental data types like strings, integers, and floats and organizing them into tuples or lists that can represent complex structures of data; or for added complexity, creating lists of lists to create 2-dimensional (or more) data structures.
Chapter 4. File Input and Output. Taking information stored in your code and persisting it in an external file that can last after the program has finished executing, or loading data from a file into a program for processing.
Chapter 5. Dictionaries. Organizing key-value pairs (very similar to variables and values) into higher-level structures that can be easily passed around or reused with some intuitive structure.
Senior Research Associate at the College of Computing
Georgia Institute of Techology
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with EdX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.