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Wed 6 May - Thu 7 May 2020
09:30 - 13:00


Provided by: University Information Services - Digital Literacy Skills


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Programming Concepts: Introduction for Absolute Beginners

Wed 6 May - Thu 7 May 2020


This course is part of the Scientific Computing series.

This course is aimed at those new to programming, or who have never been formally taught the principles and basic concepts of programming. It provides an introduction to the basic concepts common to most high level languages (including Python, Java, Fortran, C, C++, Visual Basic). The aim of the course is to equip attendees with the background knowledge and confidence necessary to tackle many on-line and printed programming tutorials. It may also help attendees in deciding which programming language is suitable for their programming task.

Knowledge of the concepts presented in this course is a pre-requisite for many of the other courses in the Scientific Computing series of courses (although not for the "Python for Absolute Beginners" course).

Target audience
  • All current University members (departments and colleges)
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available
  • Basic computer skills will be assumed
  • No prior programming experience is required. This course is unsuitable for those with significant programming experience.

Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Wed 6 May   09:30 - 13:00 09:30 - 13:00 New Museums Site, Hopkinson Lecture Theatre map Bruce Beckles
2 Thu 7 May   09:30 - 13:00 09:30 - 13:00 New Museums Site, Hopkinson Lecture Theatre map Bruce Beckles
Topics covered
  • What is a program?
  • What is scientific programming?
  • Compiled and interpreted languages
  • Computer arithematic: integer and floating-point arithmetic
  • Variables: data and data types
  • Pointers
  • Controlling the flow of a program: decision statements and loops
  • Functions and libraries
  • Exit status
  • Exceptions and exception handling
  • Objects and classes
  • Regular expressions
  • Types of programming task
  • Structuring your programming task
  • Structuring programs
  • Object oriented programming (OOP)
  • Checkpointing
  • Testing your program
  • Principles of good programming practice



The course notes will be made available in due course.


Two half day sessions

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