A Whirlwind Tour of Python for STAT/CS 287

James Bagrow, August 2021

This mini-text serves as introductory reading for my course, Data Science I, held at the University of Vermont. It has been lightly adapted and specialized from the original "A Whirlwind Tour of Python" by Jake VanderPlas, and he deserves most of the credit for this work.

A Whirlwind Tour of Python is a fast-paced introduction to essential components of the Python language for researchers and developers who are already familiar with programming in another language.

The material is particularly aimed at those who wish to use Python for data science and/or scientific programming, and in this capacity serves as an introduction to Jake VanderPlas' book, The Python Data Science Handbook.


  1. Title
  2. Introduction
  3. How to Run Python Code
  4. Basic Python Syntax
  5. Python Semantics: Variables
  6. Python Semantics: Operators
  7. Built-In Scalar Types
  8. Built-In Data Structures
  9. Strings
  10. Control Flow Statements
  11. Defining Functions
  12. Classes and Methods
  13. Errors and Exceptions
  14. Iterators and List Comprehensions
  15. Modules and Packages
  16. Working with Files and Folders
  17. Preview of Data Science Tools
  18. Timing and Profiling Python Code
  19. Resources for Further Learning

License and Citation

As with the original Whirlwind Tour text, this material is released under the "No Rights Reserved" CC0 license, and thus you are free to re-use, modify, build-on, and enhance this material for any purpose. Read more about CC0 here.

If you do use this material, I would appreciate attribution and an acknowledgment of VanderPlas' original work. For example:

A Whirlwind Tour of Python for STAT/CS 287. Adapted and specialized by James Bagrow from: A Whirlwind Tour of Python by Jake VanderPlas (O’Reilly). Copyright 2016 O’Reilly Media, Inc., 978-1-491-96465-1.

Read more about CC0 here.