Department of Information and Computing Sciences

Departement Informatica Onderwijs
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Computational thinking

Course code:INFOMCTH
Credits:7.5 ECTS
Period:period 3 (week 6 through 15, i.e., 8-2-2021 through 16-4-2021; retake week 27)
Participants:up till now 0 subscriptions
Schedule:Official schedule representation can be found in MyTimetable
lecture          Anna-Lena Lamprecht

This course is an introduction to computational thinking about data-related problems and the implementation of data analysis programs with Python. It starts at the very basics and is explicitly intended for students who have no or only little programming experience.

Computational thinking is about expressing problems and their solutions in ways that a computer could execute. It is considered one of the fundamental skills of the 21st century. To develop your computational thinking skills, the course will cover ways for systematically approaching data processing problems (algorithmic thinking), abstract program description techniques (flow charts, UML diagrams) and elementary software design principles (reuse, modularization).

Programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program for accomplishing a specific computational task. The course will introduce you to programming with Python, which is currently one of the most popular programming languages in (data) science. After familiarization with the basics (input and output, variables, data types, data structures, conditional branching, loops, functions, etc.) the course will address some more advanced topics, such as statistical analyses with the pandas package and data visualization with the matplotlib package.

Every lecture will be accompanied by a lab session where you can work on practical assignments with support of the teaching assistants. To practice the work with more complex data analysis problems, you will furthermore do a small group project.

After finishing the course successfully, you will be able to::

  • think computationally about data-related problems
  • design programs for specific computational tasks
  • write Python programs for specific computational tasks, including, e.g., asking and reading input from the user, loading data from files, preprocessing and analyzing data, performing calculations, simulating processes, visualizing data and results, storing data and results into files
  • validate Python programs for correct functioning
  • document and describe Python programs


All course material will be provided in digital form.

Exam form:

Will be announced later.

Minimum effort to qualify for 2nd chance exam:To participate in the retake exam, the original result must be at least 4.

The course requires no specific previous knowledge, in particular no prior programming skills. You will need a computer/laptop to do the exercises and assignments. Any operating system (Windows, Mac OSX, Linux) is fine, as long as new software can be installed on the machine. We assume that you have elemental computer skills such as browser usage, storing files, installing programs, etc.

Important: Do NOT register for this course if you already have experience with Python or another imperative programming language. The course is meant for students who have no or only very little programming skills yet. Students from the Bachelor programs Computer Science, Information Science and Artificial Intelligence are not allowed to take this course as it overlaps too much with their own mandatory courses. You are also not allowed to take this course if you have already done a similar course in a different context. In that case we advise you to look at more advanced courses on programming, software development or data science.