Complexity Explorer Santa Few Institute

Foundations & Applications of Humanities Analytics (Spring 2023)

Lead instructor:

This course is no longer in session.

14.1 Getting Started with Scientific Programming » Tutorial Overview & Resources

The goal of this optional tutorial:

The first part of this tutorial takes you through the steps required to install the various applications and packages to start writing Python scripts on your computer.  You will learn how to work in the computer shell to set up your coding environment and then to use Jupyter notebooks as an interactive coding environment to write your code.

The second part of the tutorial goes through a step-by-step Python script that studies the word usage associated with "single mothers" in articles from The New York Times. Using a custom-made lexicon of words that were decided to represent particular topics, the code measures which topics are found with the phrase "single mother" (or "single motherhood"). The code uses the Python database package pandas, which is a powerful tool for many projects.

Key resources:


  • shell – On a mac, search for and run "Terminal". On a PC, search for and run "PowerShell" or "Classic Shell"
  • Conda – if you are more comfortable with a graphical installer, consider Anaconda.
  • Jupyter Notebook – can also be installed from within the Anaconda environment