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Introduction to the IPython: Open Source Mathematical Software


Come join us for a hands-on, practical introduction to IPython.

IPython is free mathematical software that is becoming the tool of choice for many mathematicians, data scientists, and computer researchers. It features:

  • Powerful interactive shells (terminal and Qt-based).
  • A browser-based notebook with support for code, text, mathematical expressions, inline plots and other rich media.
  • Support for interactive data visualization and use of GUI toolkits.
  • Flexible, embeddable interpreters to load into your own projects.
  • Easy to use, high performance tools for parallel computing.


In this session, we will start by introducing both the IPython terminal and IPython notebooks. We will spend the first ten minutes on the basics: how to interact with the system, how to ask for help, and how to create interactive documents. There will also be a handout.

We will then spend the next hour covering how to use the computer algebra system in IPython to take integrals and derivatives, multiply matrices, simplify algebraic expressions, plot results, etc. There will be a second handout for this section.

We will then spend the final hour covering how to do basic data analysis, statistics, and machine learning in IPython. A final handout will be passed out for this section.


We recommend installing IPython before you come. Instructions on installing the free software on Windows, Mac, and Linux can be found here:

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