Specialty Graphics

Python Programming Notes

Python Basics

"Hello World" in Python

print "Hello World"

Comments in Python

Single line comments are started with a hash character.

# This is an example of a Python single line comment.

Python Data Types

Use type() to return the data type of an argument.

type(True)<type 'bool'> # Boolean
type(2514)<type 'int'> # Integer
type(2.54)<type 'float'> # Floating Point Number
type("test")<type 'str'> # String
type([1, 6, 8, 56, 4, 24, 57, 6])<type 'list'> # List
type({'a': 'alpha', 'b': 'bravo', 'c': 'charlie'})<type 'dict'> # Dictionary
type(set(['pear', 'apple', 'grape']))<type 'set'> # Set
type((1,2))<type 'tuple'> # Tuple

Python Operators

Mathematical Operators

Mathematical operators are used for arithmetic calculations.

+ Addition
- Subtraction
* Multiplication
/ Division
// Floor Division
% Modulus
** Exponent

Comparison Operators

Comparison operators compare the value of two operands. A boolean 'true' or 'false' is returned based on the results of the comparison.

== Equal To.
!= NOT equal To.
<Less than.
> Greater than.
<=Less than or equal to.
>= Greater than or equal to.

Logical Operators

and Tests if both operands are true.
or Tests if either operand is true.
not Reverses the logical state of an operand.

Examples of Comparison and Logical Operator Usage

For the these examples, assume the following:     x = 2;     y = 3;     z = 2;

x < y True          x == y or x == z True
x > y False x == y and x == z False
x == y False x + 1 < y False
x != y True x + 1 <= y True
x == 2 True (x == 2 and y == 3 or y == 4) True
x != 2 False (x == 2 or y == 3 and y == 4) True

Assignment Operators

=        a = 2
+= a += 2   is the same as   a = a + 2
−=a −= 2   is the same as   a = a − 2
*= a *= 2   is the same as   a = a * 2
/=a /= 2   is the same as   a = a / 2
%=a %= 2   is the same as   a = a % 2
**=a **= 2   is the same as   a = a**2
//=a //= 2   is the same as   a = a//2

Math Functions in Python

Math Functions

pow() Syntax: pow(base, exponent)Uses: Raises a number to a power.
pow(2,4)Returns 16
abs() Syntax: abs(n)Uses: Returns the absolute value of a number.
abs(7)Returns 7
abs(-14)Returns 14
bin() Syntax: bin(n)Uses: Returns binary value of argument.
bin(1)Returns '0b1'
bin(14)Returns '0b1110'
round()Syntax: round(n,decimal places)Uses: Rounds a number to the specified decimal places.
round(3.7864)Returns 4.0
round(3.7864,1)Returns 3.8
round(3.7864,2)Returns 3.79
min()Syntax: min(iterable, key)Uses: Finds the smallest value in a string, list, or tuple.
An optional key function may applied to the arguments.
min([1, -6, -2, 3, 4])Returns -6
min([1, -6, -2, 3, 4], key=abs)Returns 1
max()Syntax: max(iterable, key)Uses: Finds the largest value in a string, list, or tuple.
An optional key function may applied to the arguments.
max([1, -6, -2, 3, 4])Returns 4
max([1, -6, -2, 3, 4], key=abs)Returns -6

Python Math Module Methods

The following examples require the loading of Python's built in math module. Use "import math" to load the module. Type "help (math)" to see a help file for the module.

math.ceil() Syntax: math.ceil(number) Uses: Rounds a number UP to the nearest integer.
math.ceil(1.3)Returns 2.0
math.ceil(2.74)Returns 3.0
math.floor() Syntax: math.floor(number) Uses: Rounds number down to nearest integer.
math.floor(1.3)Returns 1.0
math.floor(2.74)Returns 2.0
math.sqrt() Syntax: math.sqrt(number) Uses: Returns the square root of a number. Returns an error for a negative number.
math.sqrt(9)Returns 3.0
math.sqrt(-9)Returns an error message.
math.pow() Syntax: math.pow(base, exponent);Uses: Raises a base to an exponent.
math.pow(2, 3)Returns 8.0
math.factorial() Syntax: math.factorial(n) Uses:Returns the factorial of a number.
math.factorial(3)Returns 6
math.factorial(6)Returns 720
math.fabs() Syntax:math.fabs(number); Uses: Returns the absolute value of a number.
math.fabs(-15.627)Returns 15.627
math.sin() Syntax: math.sin(angle) Uses: Returns the sine of an angle.
math.cos() Syntax: math.cos(angle) Uses: Returns the cosine of an angle.
math.tan() Syntax: math.tan(angle) Uses: Returns the tangent of an angle.
math.asin() Syntax: math.asin(number) Uses: Returns the arcsine of number.
math.acos() Syntax: math.acos(number) Uses: Returns the arccosine of number.
math.atan() Syntax: math.atan(number) Uses: Returns the arctangent of number.
math.degrees() Syntax: math.degrees(radians) Uses: Converts an angle from radians to degrees.
math.degrees(4.2)Returns 240.64227395494578
math.radians() Syntax: math.radians(degrees) Uses: Converts an angle from degrees to radians.
math.radians(180)Returns 3.141592653589793
math.pi Syntax: math.pi Uses: Returns the value of Pi.

Strings in Python

The following sample string is referenced by some of the examples in this section:


sample = "This is the sample string for the following examples."

.lower() Syntax: string.lower()Uses: Returns the string in all lower case.
sample.lower()Returns 'this is the sample string for the following examples.'
.upper() Syntax: string.upper()Uses: Returns the string in all upper case.
string.find() Syntax: string.find(find, start)Uses: Returns the index of the first occurrence of a substring. Optional starting index.
sample.find("the")Returns 8
sample.find("the", 10)Returns 30
sample.find("elephant")Returns -1      # Returns -1 if the value is not found in the string.
.split() Syntax: string.split()Uses: Returns a list of the words of a string. Split on each space.
sample.split()Returns ['This', 'is', 'the', 'sample', 'string', 'for', 'the', 'following', 'examples.']
"Sample Text".split()Returns ['Sample', 'Text']
len() Syntax: len(string)Uses: Returns the length of the string.
len(sample)Returns 53
len("Sample Text")Returns 11
len(sample.split())Returns 9     # Combining len and split to count the words in a string.
len("Sample Text".split())Returns 2

Selecting Substrings by Index Location

Use string[start:end] to select a sub-string starting at 'start' index and going to, but not including, 'end' index.

The following sample string is referenced by some of the examples in this section:


sample = "This is the sample string for the following examples."

sample[2:3]Returns 'i'
sample[5:18]Returns 'is the sample'
sample[12:]Returns 'sample string for the following examples.'
sample[:9]Returns 'This is t'
"Sample Text"[1:3]Returns 'am'
"Sample Text"[:3]Returns 'Sam'
"Sample Text"[2:]Returns 'mple Text'

String Substitution

Each of the following examples produces the same output: "I have 3 computers at home."

print("I have %i %s at %s." % (3, "computers", "home"))    # Note 'i' and 's' after '%' to denote integer and string.

print("I have {1} {2} at {3}.".format(3, "computers", "home"))    # Using .format method.

print("%s %s %i %s %s %s" % ("I", "have", 3, "computers", "at", "home"))

print("{0} {1} {2} {3} {4} {5}." .format("I", "have", 3, "computers", "at", "home"))

numVal, strVal, strVal2 = 3, "computers", "home"
print("I have {} {} at {}.".format(numVal, strVal, strVal2))
     # Using data from string variables.

samDict = {'number': 3, 'item': 'computers', 'location': 'home'}
print("I have %(number)i %(item)s at %(location)s." % samDict)
    # Using data from a dictionary.

samTuple = (3, 'computers', 'home')
print("I have %i %s at %s." % samTuple)
    # Using data from a tuple.

print("I have " + str(numVal) + " " + strVal + " at " + strVal2 +".")    # The same output using concatenation.


Python Lists

Python lists are enclosed in square brackets and contain one or more items separated by commas.

Examples of Lists


myList = [1, 6, 8, 56, 4, 24, 57, 6]


sample_list = ["elm", "maple", "ash", "oak", "cedar"]


list3 = ["United States", 1776, "North America"]


list_2d = [[3, 5, 7],[6, 8, 4],[6, 8, 8]]

List Functions

Some of these examples use the following sample list:    samp = ["elm", "maple", "ash", "oak", "cedar"]

len() Syntax: len(list)Uses: Returns the length of a list.
len([6, 4, 1, 3, 7])Returns 5
len(["ace", "king", "queen", "jack"])Returns 4
len(samp)Returns 5
min() Syntax: min(list)Uses: Returns the largest item in a list.
min([6, 4, 1, 3, 7])Returns 1
min(["ace", "king", "queen", "jack"])Returns 'ace'
min(samp)Returns 'ash'
max() Syntax: max(list)Uses: Returns the smallest item in a list.
max([6, 4, 1, 3, 7])Returns 7
max(["ace", "king", "queen", "jack"])Returns 'queen'
max(samp)Returns 'oak'
sorted() Syntax: sorted(list)Uses: Creates a NEW sorted list.
sorted(samp)Returns ['ash', 'cedar', 'elm', 'maple', 'oak']
sorted(samp, reverse=True)Returns ['oak', 'maple', 'elm', 'cedar', 'ash']

List Methods

Some of these examples use the following sample list:   samp = ["elm", "maple", "ash", "oak", "cedar"]

.index() Syntax: .index(search)Uses: Returns the index of the first occurrence of the search string in a list.
samp.index("oak")Returns 3
[6, 4, 1, 3, 7].index(3)Returns 3
[6, 4, 1, 3, 7].index(4)Returns 1
[6, 4, 1, 3, 7].index(8)Generates an error message.
.sort() Syntax: .sort()Uses: Sorts items in a list.
.reverse() Syntax: .reverse()Uses: Reverses all items in a list.
.append() Syntax: list.append(items)Uses: Adds items to the end of a list.
.extend() Syntax: list.extend(list2)Uses: Adds items to the first list from the second list.
.pop() Syntax: list.pop(index)Uses: Returns the value at a given index and removes it from the list.
.remove() Syntax: list.remove(item)Uses: Removes a given value from a list.
.insert() Syntax: list.insert(index, item)Uses: Inserts an item into a list at a specified index.
.count() Syntax: list.count(item)Uses: Returns the number of times an item occurs in a list.
samp.count("oak")Returns 1
samp.count("pine")Returns 0
[1, 2, 2, 3, 2, 4].count(2)Returns 3

Populating Lists Using Range()

You can use the range() function to populate a list.

myList = range(10)    #Creates "myList" that contains all integers between 0 and 10.

Examples of Creating a List with Range().

range(20) [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]
range(0,10) [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]
range(0,10,2) [0, 2, 4, 6, 8]
range(50,100,10) [50, 60, 70, 80, 90]
range(2,5) [2, 3, 4]

List Comprehensions

A list comprehension consists of brackets containing an expression followed by a for clause, then zero or more for or if clauses. List comprehensions can often be used to create a list more efficiently than by using loops.

[x*x for x in [1,2,3,4,5]][1, 4, 9, 16, 25]# Squares for the numbers 1 - 5.
[x**2 for x in range(10)][0, 1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81] # Squares of all numbers (1-10).
[n for n in range(15) if n%2 == 0][0, 2, 4, 6, 8]# Even numbers between 0 and 15.
[n for n in range(15) if n%2!= 0][1, 3, 5, 7, 9]# Odd numbers between 0 and 15.
[(x, x+1) for x in range(1, 10, 2)] [(1, 2), (3, 4), (5, 6), (7, 8), (9, 10)]# Creates a list of tuples.
[bin(n) for n in range(4)]['0b0', '0b1', '0b10', '0b11']# Binary numbers for 0 to 3.
[(n, bin(n)) for n in range(4)][(0, '0b0'), (1, '0b1'), (2, '0b10'), (3, '0b11')]# Creates tuples of the numbers 0 - 3 and their binary equivelants.
[round(math.pi,i) for i in range(1, 6)]['3.1', '3.14', '3.142', '3.1416', '3.14159']# Values for Pi rounded to increasing places.

More Examples Using List Comprehensions

The following list comprehensions reference the following lists:    letters = ("A", "B", "C", "D");     nums = (1, 2, 3, 4)

[(x, x.lower()) for x in letters][('A', 'a'), ('B', 'b'), ('C', 'c'), ('D', 'd')]# Creates tuples of uppercase and lowercase letters.
[(x, ord(x)) for x in letters][('A', 65), ('B', 66), ('C', 67), ('D', 68)]# Creates tuples of letters and corresponding character codes.
[(x, y) for x in nums for y in letters][(1, 'A'), (1, 'B'), (1, 'C'), (1, 'D'), (2, 'A'), (2, 'B'), (2, 'C'),
(2, 'D'), (3, 'A'), (3, 'B'), (3, 'C'), (3, 'D'), (4, 'A'), (4, 'B'), (4, 'C'), (4, 'D')]
# Creates tuples of all possible combinations of two lists.

Iterating Through a List and Performing an Operation on Each Item

sample_List = ["elm", "maple", "ash", "oak", "cedar"]

for item in sample_List:
print item


Python Dictionaries

Dictionaries contain a series of keys and values. They are enclosed in curly brackets. A colon is placed between each key and its associated value. Key / value pairs are separated from other key / value pairs with commas.

The following sample dictionary is referenced by some of the examples in this section:


sample = {'a': 'alpha', 'b': 'bravo', 'c': 'charlie', 'd': 'delta'}

.items() Syntax: dictionary.items()Uses: Returns the values in the dictionary as a list of tuples
sample.items()Returns [('a', 'alpha'), ('c', 'charlie'), ('b', 'bravo'), ('d', 'delta')]
.keys() Syntax: dictionary.keys()Uses: Returns a list of keys in a dictionary.
sample.keys()Returns ['a', 'c', 'b', 'd']
.values() Syntax: dictionary.values()Uses: Returns a list of values from a dictionary.
sample.values() Returns ['alpha', 'charlie', 'bravo', 'delta']
.pop() Syntax: dictionary.pop('key')Uses: Removes a key/value pair from the dictionary. Returns its value.
sample.pop('b') Returns 'bravo'
.clear() Syntax: dictionary.clear()Uses: Removes all data from the dictionary.
in Syntax: 'value' in dictionaryUses: Asking if a value is in a dictionary. Returns True or False
'a' in sampleReturns True
'x' in sampleReturns False
[] Syntax: dictionary['key']Uses: Retrieves the value associated with a key. Generates error if key is not found.
sample['c']Returns 'omega'
sample['x']Returns error message
sample['omega']Returns error message

Python Sets

Python sets contain an unordered collections of elements with no duplicates.

The following sets are used in the examples below:


fruit = set(['pear', 'apple', 'grape', 'strawberry'])


trees = set(['walnut', 'apple', 'pear', 'pine'])


nuts = set(['pecan', 'walnut', 'peanut'])

in Syntax: 'item' in setUses: Asks if an item is in a set. Returns True or False.
'apple' in fruitReturns True
'apple' in treesReturns True
'apple' in nutsReturns False
& Syntax: set1 & set2Uses: Returns items that appear in both sets.
fruit & treesReturns set(['pear', 'apple'])
- Syntax: set1 - set2Uses: Returns items that appear in set 1, but not set 2.
fruit - treesReturns set(['strawberry', 'grape'])
| Syntax: set1 | set2Uses: Returns items in set 1 or set 2
fruit | treesReturns set(['grape', 'apple', 'pear', 'pine', 'walnut', 'strawberry'])
^ Syntax: set1 ^ set2Uses: Returns items in either set 1 or set 2, but not both.
fruit ^ treesReturns set(['grape', 'strawberry', 'pine', 'walnut'])

Simple Python Functions

The following Python functions perform simple mathematical operations.

def square(n):
return n * n

# Returns the square of a number.
def cube(x):
return x*x*x

# Returns the cube of a number.
def evenOrOdd(n):
if n % 2 == 0: return "Even"
else: return "odd"

# Returns "Even" or "odd" for a number.
def absolute(n):
if n < 0:
n = -n
return n

# Returns the absolute value of a number.
def factorial(n):
output = 1
while n > 0:
output = output * n
n -= 1
return output

# Returns the factorial of a number.
def sumList(list):
sum = 0
for item in list:
sum = sum + item
return sum

# Returns the sum of a list of numbers.
def productList(list):
total = 1
for number in list:
total = total * number
return total

# Returns the product of a list of numbers.
def triangular(n):
answer = 0
while n > 0:
answer += n
n -= 1
return answer

# Returns the triangular number of a number.
def triangular(n):
answer, x = 0, 1
while x < n + 1:
answer += x
print answer
x += 1

# Prints the first 'n' triangular numbers.
def fahrenheitToCelsius(n):
return (n - 32) * 5 / 9

# Converts Fahrenheit to Celsius.
def celsiusToFahrenheit(n):
return n * 9 / 5 + 32

# Converts Celsius to Fahrenheit.
def perimeterCircle(n):
return 2 * math.pi * n

# Returns the perimeter of a circle of radius 'n'.
def areaCircle(n):
return math.pi * n * n

# Returns the area of a circle of radius 'n'.
def perimeterSquare(n):
return n * 4

# Returns the perimeter of a square of length 'n'.
def areaSquare(n):
return n * n

# Returns the area of a square of length 'n'.