An Introduction to Python for Excel users

1-day workshop by Bedartha Goswami, PIK Potsdam

Date: Wed Oct 31
Time: 9 AM to 5 PM
Location: F 1.14, University of Waikato, Hamilton

A one-day entry level hands-on introduction to Python.
This course teaches:

  • the fundamental Python object types and classes
  • the if-else, for, and while constructs
  • basics how to write modules and packages
  • basics of how to read, manipulate and plot data.

At its end, you will be able to:

  • interact with Python packages
  • solve coding issues
  • understand source code
  • use Python instead of Excel to store, read, plot and manipulate data
    thus enabling you to keep learning on your own.

Note: Users are advised to ensure that they have Python installed on their devices. Mac and Linux users already have a pre-installed Python which should work fine for the Introductory course – this can be easily verified by opening a terminal prompt and typing “python –version”. For Windows users, we recommend to follow the installation instructions at [1] or [2].  Please make sure to verify the installation. We encourage everyone to contact me by email **before** the workshop if there are any problems installing Python.


You can register your interest in the course by sending an email to Bedartha at

Workshop Schedule

09.00 AM - 09.45 AM: Introduction, install check & "Hello World"
09.45 AM - 10.00 AM: BREAK
10.00 AM - 10.45 AM: Functions, arguments, & Python syntax 
10.45 AM - 11.00 AM: BREAK
11.00 AM - 12.00 PM: Load Comma Separated Value (CSV) file & plot
12.00 PM - 01.00 PM: LUNCH BREAK
01.00 PM - 01.45 PM: What is a package? What is a module?
01.45 PM - 02.00 PM: BREAK
02.00 PM - 02.45 PM: Working with dates in Python.
02.45 PM - 03.00 PM: BREAK
03.00 PM - 03.45 PM: Understanding Matplotlib.
03.45 PM - 04.00 PM: BREAK
04.00 PM - 04.45 PM: The Zen of Python.

Notes on the schedule

We will talk for 45 minute periods and follow those with short breaks of 15 minutes. The breaks will allow us to take a step back and absorb what we talked about and also at the same time ensure that those who get stuck (e.g., because of a tiny typo or bug) get some time to catch up with the rest.