Notebook Zero#

What is “Notebook Zero”?#

The term “notebook zero” refers to the first Jupyter Notebook that students are exposed to, which is meant to introducen the basics of Python and the Jupyter environment. This notebook is typically given out as the first assignment, so that students can acclimate themselves to working with Python in Jupyter before they get to the nitty-gritty of data science work.

What is covered in Notebook Zero?#

Notebook zero typically covers many different things, and is usually tailored to the course it is beind used for. There are, however, a few things that every notebook zero contains; these are:

  • code and Markdown cells

  • variables and Python data types (int, float, str, bool)

  • arithmetic and operators

  • logical operators and keywords (and, or, not)

  • if/elif/else statements

  • functions and builtins

  • errors

Depending on the course or module, more topics may be covered (e.g. importing libraries, iteration). While these notebooks tend to be very homogeneous, there is some customizability based on the types of things that students will (or won’t) need to know for the course.

Sample Notebooks#

There are a few good examples of these notebooks. The one that most students see is the Data 8 Lab 1 notebook, which introduces all of the concepts listed above and allows students to apply them to a problem. As a modules example, there is the first notebook from MCB 32, which is a sparser introduction to Python but which also covers matplotlib, as almost all of the labs in that module require plotting.