2.3.3 Numeric Python

Python contains many very-high level data types, such as lists and dictionaries. However, it does not contain an array type that behaves in the same way as matrices in mathematics, i.e. operations take place element-wise2.2.

The Numeric Python library adds this feature. It is implemented in C for speed and is highly optimised. It can be used as a drop-in replacement for IDL and Matlab in scientific research[#!numpy!#].

The version of Numeric Python used during the trial was 21.0.



Footnotes

... element-wise2.2
Neither do C or Pascal, but the alternative to using Numeric Python was to use Python's lists which are an extremely powerful and flexible multi-element data type. Their elements may be of multiple, arbitrary types (including further lists). It was felt this had the potential to lead to extremely subtle bugs in student programs, and reduced understanding of the principles of arrays as a generic programming concept.