Tag Archives: Education

Using Python to Teach About Finding the Digital Root

My wife teaches 3rd grade math and she recently learned about the process of obtaining the digital root of numbers. The digital root is a single digit number found by summing the individual digits. So for 15, you would add 1+5 to get 6. Thus 6 is the digital root of 15. The trainer that my wife worked with explained that you can check your answers using the digital root, which will give children another way to find out if their answer is correct. Here is an example:

15   1 + 5 = 6
+12   1 + 2 = 3
      6 + 3 = 9
 27   2 + 7 = 9

So here we have two operands: 15 and 12. If you add those together, you get 27. To check your answer using the digital root, you add the individual digits in the two operands as above. So 15 becomes 1+5 or 6 and 12 becomes 1+2 or 3. Then you add those two roots together to get 9. Then you check your answer by adding up its digits, which in this case is 2+7 which equals 9. The rules are slightly different for subtraction, multiplication and division. We’ll be looking at addition, subtraction and multiplication. We are skipping division because I haven’t found a good explanation for how it works and I don’t want to just use formulas that I can’t explain.

At this point you’re probably wonder where Python comes in. We’ll use wxPython to create a simple GUI that will allow us to see how this works. Let’s start coding! Continue reading Using Python to Teach About Finding the Digital Root

Improving MediaLocker: wxPython, SQLAlchemy, and MVC

This blog ran an article about wxPython, SQLAlchemy, CRUD and MVC earlier this month. The program that we created in that post was dubbed “MediaLocker”, whether or not it was explicitly stated as such. Anyway, since then, I have received a couple comments about improving the program. One came from Michael Bayer, one of the creative minds behind SQLAlchemy itself and the other comments came from Werner Bruhin, a nice guy who haunts the wxPython mailing list, helping new users. So I went about creating an improved version of the code following their advice. Werner then improved it a bit more. So in this article, we will be looking at improving the code, first with my example and then with his. Enough talk though; let’s get to the meat of story! Continue reading Improving MediaLocker: wxPython, SQLAlchemy, and MVC

Weekly Python News (12/31/2010)

This week’s Python news covers new modules, updates to old modules, a newish Python Magazine (no, not that one!), an update on what’s going on with the new wxPython and more!

  • TurboGears Joins the Pylons Project” (Alt title: TurboGears Becomes TurboPyramid). I think the title says it all…and no, they didn’t really rename the project.
  • wxPython’s “Project Phoenix” gets an update – this gives an update on how Robin Dunn is moving away from SWIG to make it easier to do documentation and the Python 3 port.
  • Michael Foord’s new “e” module makes a debut…read all about it on his blog
  • PET: Issue #1 – English translation of a magazine created by the Argentina Python Users Group. Yes, this is kind of old news, but I thought it was really cool and it needs YOUR support!
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  • The PSF blog talks about high schoolers using Python to program robots under the guidance of Vern Ceder
  • PyCrypto gets a Python 3 port courtesy of Thorsten Behrens. Check out the thread and download your copy to help find any bugs!

That’s it for this week. Next time we’ll be in 2011! That’s amazing! Anyway, I hope you have a nice holiday and you’ll let me know of any Python news that I should talk about for the next post. Thanks!

The New Python Certificate

Today I received an email from the O’Reilly School of Technology that was touting their new “Python Programming Certificate”. It appears to be an online set of four courses created by Steve Holden, current Chairman of the Python Software Foundation and owner of Holden Web.

Here is what their website says about the four courses:

The first course introduces the Python language, and by the end of the second you have created graphical user interfaces, accessed a relational database and analyzed email messages. The third class increases your language mastery by explaining some of the secrets of the interpreter “under the hood”. The fourth rounds out whole experience, providing you with a holistic knowledge of Python that will leave you ready to continue your programming career confident in your command of Python.

And here are the four course titles:

  • Python 1: Beginning Python
  • Python 2: Getting More Out of Python
  • Python 3: The Python Environment
  • Python 4: Advanced Python

The certificate is actually issued by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I was unable to discover if one could CLEP out of any of the classes or not for a reduced price. Anyway, this is an FYI to all you aspiring Python Professionals that would like to be “certified”.

To my knowledge, this is the first and ONLY Python Certification program. As I recall, Steve Holden mentioned that people were wanting Python Certificates a couple of years ago in his column in the now defunct Python Magazine.