The aim of this section is to set up the environment needed to start working with Python.

Python versions

Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language that was conceived in the late 1980s and is now gaining immense popularity given its appeal of simplicity.

There exist two main Python versions, Python 2 and Python 3. The latter contains language enhancements and is about to become the standard, so this cookbook will use the newer Python 3 syntax.

Installing Python with Anaconda

Anaconda is a free and open-source Python distribution. It paves the way for getting started with Python since it automatically installs the most frequently used packages in Data Science and some useful applications that we will outline below. It is available for Windows, macOS and Linux so we just need to follow the installation procedure for the newest version of Python available, 3.7 as of today.

You can install Anaconda from this link.

Anaconda comes with a desktop graphical user interface called Navigator where you will find an overview of your applications and packages.


Using Python with Anaconda

At this point you should have Anaconda installed and be all set to start writing Python code:

Víctor Adell
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, 2019

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