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This course material was originally prepared by Anna Haensch and Karin Knudson at the Fletcher Graduate School of Global Affairs at Tufts University. We wrote about some of our motivations and methodology for the 2022 SciPy Conference Proceedings in “Python for Global Applications: teaching scientific Python in context to law and diplomacy students”.

Course Outline

This course is designed for a 14 week semester with two 80 minute class meetings per week. Here we present the main topics and assement tools of each module.

Weekly Planner

In what follows we provide a week-by-week plan including learning objectives, exercises, and suggested readings.

Module I: Getting and Cleaning Data

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Module II: Visualizaing Data

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Module III: Modeling Data

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Week 13

Week 14

Python Problem Sets

To accompany each of the three course modules (i.e. data exploration, data visualization, and data modeling), there is a Python problem set. These usually take some time to complete, but should be doable with the skill set acquired over the course of the module.

The Policy Project

A core throughline of this course is the policy project. There are various checkpoints and benchmarks throughout the semester. This project culminates with a final policy paper due at the end of the semester, as well as an in-class presentation of key findings and takeaways. The critical checkpoints through the semester are as follows:

Contact Me

If you find these materials useful, let me know! If you have suggestions for other reading or materials that might work well with this class, also let me know: