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PACSET compendium of Python programmes for teaching physics

Godfrey Akpojotor

Audience level:


Computational activities now constitute a third pillar in science and engineering (S & E) in addition to theory and experiment. Python African Computational S & E Tour (PACSET) is to ease the learning of programming as well as modeling, simulation and visualization with Python to aid teaching/learning/research in Africa. Our study here is on a compendium of Python programmes for teaching physics


Historically, Python is based on a teaching language called ABC that was in use in the 1980s. Therefore Python from its origin was created as a powerful educational language that also has multipurpose applications outside education. Science and engineering (S & E) have benefited so far from the use of Python as a teaching/learning and research software especially with the creation of several modules such as NumPy, SciPy, SymPy, Matplotlib and VPython and even a scientific version (Python x,y) which simplifies scientific computations, modelling, simulations and visualizations. Further, being a free and open source programming software creates the possibility that any user connected to the internet can download the entire package (including the latest version!) into any platform, install it and immediately begin to use it. These are some of the motivations for setting up the Python African Computational Science and engineering Tour (PACSET) Project with the vision and mission of easing the learners as well as expert programmers into programming with Python and to use it for modeling, simulation and visualization to aid the teaching/learning process and research in Africa. At PACSET, we encourage the individuals to develop their own codes. However, we observed that teaching people to develop their own codes before using Python for teaching is more tasking than exposing them to using Python programmes and once have found Python captivating, they are more eager to learn and consequently begin to develop their own programmes. Therefore, one of our long time study is to develop compendia of Python teaching programmes in various disciplines of S & E. In the study here, a compendium of Python programmes for teaching physics is presented.
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