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The Sciences


Cosmic VarianceBy Sean CarrollSeptember 8, 2011 5:31 PM


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I've decided I need to become a programmer again. As an undergrad, and to a lesser extent as a grad student, I wrote code all the time. But since I started doing research, it's been pencil-and-paper almost all the way through, with occasional dips into Mathematica or plotting programs. That must end, so I've decided to learn Python. I just need something simple for number-crunching and graphics, and everyone in the know seems to have nice things to say about the language. (Secretly I would like to play around with genetic algorithms and cellular automata, but I'm not going to admit that.) I tried to get Fortran, my previous language of choice, up and running on my Mac ... it didn't go well. So... any tips? Pointers to well-written resources and tutorials (online or in print) would be especially helpful. Keep in mind that the target audience is an aging theoretical physicist who hasn't programmed in 20 years, and for that matter has been pretty much command-prompt free (working on my Mac) for the last five. The things I admit in public on this blog, sheesh.

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