Front Matter

Copyright © 2002 Michael Williams; this document may be copied, distributed and/or modified under certain conditions, but it comes WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; see the Design Science License for more details.

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Abstract:

Python is a modern, object-oriented programming language with clean, readable syntax. Its design was informed by experiences with other teaching languages so it is considered suitable for such use. The current undergraduate-level Physics course teaches computer programming using Pascal. This report discusses the possibility of replacing this with Python.

A Python equivalent of the current Pascal handbook was designed and a group of volunteer students took the course. Although several problems with the course and Python itself were discovered, I conclude that Python's superior readability makes it a more suitable introductory language than C and it's real world applicability make it preferable to Pascal.