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Getting started with Python/Numpy/SciPy

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A short summary:

1. You'll need to install Python on your machine. We recommend the Anaconda python distribution:

During installation, make Anaconda your default Python installation (unless you have some reason not to do this).

2. You'll need a text editor to write Python in. Any text editor will work, but there are ones that highlight Python keywords which is handy, such as Text Wrangler or Sublime Text.

If you've no/minimal programming experience

Once Python is installed, you're ready to get started! Open up a command line prompt (e.g. Command Prompt on Windows, Terminal on OS X) and type


to start an interactive Python shell. You can begin entering Python commands and manipulating variables immediately.

If you have no prior programming experience, I recommend you work through a Python tutorial using ipython: as you read, run the commands and get a feel for what's happening.

If you've done some programming

If you have some programming experience, or once you're comfortable with the information above, please follow through this guide: