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Doing Math With Python

Algebra with Python, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus

This course’s goal is to bring together three topics near to my heart—programming, math, and science. What does that mean exactly? Within these pages, we’ll programmatically explore high school–level topics, like manipulating units of measurement; examining projectile motion; calculating mean, median, and mode; determining linear correlation; solving algebraic equations; describing the motion of a simple pendulum; simulating dice games; creating geometric shapes; and finding the limits, derivatives, and integrals of functions. These are familiar topics for many, but instead of using pen and paper, we’ll use our computer to explore them. We’ll write programs that will take numbers and formulas as input, do the tedious calculations needed, and then spit out the solution or draw a graph. Some of these programs are powerful calculators for solving math problems. They find the solutions to equations, calculate the correlation between sets of data, and determine the maximum value of a function, among other tasks. In other programs, we’ll simulate real-life events, such as projectile motion, a coin toss, or a die roll. Using programs to simulate such events gives us an easy way to analyze and learn more about them.

You’ll also find topics that would be extremely difficult to explore without programs. For example, drawing fractals by hand is tedious at best and close to impossible at worst. With a program, all we need to do is run a for loop with the relevant operation in the body of the loop.

I think you’ll find that this new context for “doing math” makes learning both programming and math more exciting, fun, and rewarding.


This book consists of seven chapters and two appendices. Each chapter ends with challenges for the reader. I recommend giving these a try, as there’s much to learn from trying to write your own original programs. Some of these challenges will ask you to explore new topics, which is a great way to enhance your learning.

Chapter 1, Working with Numbers, starts off with basic mathematical operations and gradually moves on to topics requiring a higher level of math know-how.

Chapter 2, Visualizing Data with Graphs, discusses creating graphs from data sets using the matplotlib library.
Chapter 3, Describing Data with Statistics, continues the theme of processing data sets, covering basic statistical concepts—mean, median, mode, and the linear correlation of variables in a data set. You’ll also learn to handle data from CSV files, a popular file format for distributing data sets.

• Chapter 4, Algebra and Symbolic Math with SymPy, introduces symbolic math using the SymPy library. It begins with the basics of representing and manipulating algebraic expressions before introducing more complicated matters, such as solving equations.

Chapter 5, Playing with Sets and Probability, discusses the representation of mathematical sets and moves on to basic discrete probability. You’ll also learn to simulate uniform and nonuniform random events.
• Chapter 6, Drawing Geometric Shapes and Fractals, discusses using matplotlib to draw geometric shapes and fractals and create animated figures.
Chapter 7, Solving Calculus Problems, discusses some of the mathematical functions available in the Python standard library and SymPy and then introduces you to solving calculus problems.
Appendix A, Software Installation, covers installation of Python 3, matplotlib, and SymPy on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X.
• Appendix B, Overview of Python Topics, discusses several Python topics that may be helpful for beginners.



Your Instructor


Dr. Eric Chou
Dr. Eric Chou

Eric Chou, Ph.D.

He obtained his MS and PhD degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA. His technical fields is focused on smart sensory information processing, machine learning, optimization theory, communication and VLSI design.Currently, He is an adjunct faculty member in the On-line M.S. Computer Science/Data Science Programs at Lewis University, IL. He is also running a start-up company.

He love computational research and its application to real world. i have involved in many large-scale computer/communication product research development in many world-leading company such as HP, Micrel, and many startups. I also involved in founding a startup company. I also enjoy sharing my ideas through teaching. I hold many US and international patents in technical fields such as software development, mobile computing, IC design and communication receiver design. I am also a certified coach in Taekwondo in both UAST and AAU.


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Frequently Asked Questions


When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
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