Glossary

Computer

We use the definition of a computer given by Zelle, 2017: “A machine that stores and manipulates information under the control of a changeable program.”

Data type

An attribute defining the characteristics of a value in a program. For example, type int is an integer (whole number).

DateOffsets

A specific pandas object that represents a duration of time following calendar duration rules, such as a week (“W”).

DatetimeIndex

An immutable array of datetime64 data that is specified as the index of the DataFrame. Can be used for indexing and grouping data based on time.

Docstring

A text string used to document a section of code. Docstrings are frequently used for functions to describe what the function does as well as providing information about input parameters and function outputs. You are encouraged to create docstrings when making functions as they can be used with the Python help function to show users how functions work.

Function

A reusable piece of code that performs a single action.

Jupyter Notebook

A web application that allows users to combine rich-formtted text with code cells in an interactive document. Jupyter Notebooks can contain nicely formatted text, equations, images, interactive visualizations, and more. More information can be found at https://jupyter.org/.

Library

A group of related modules. See definition of a module.

List

A data type in Python that can be used to store collections of values. Values in Python lists can be added, removed, or modified, and the list items do not need to be the same data types. Python lists are enclosed in square brackets ([ ]) and list items are separated by commas.

Loop

A programming construct that allows a section of code to be repeated a finite number of times or until a given condition is met.

Markdown

A lightweight markup language used to convert plain text input to rich-formatted output. Markdown can, for example, be used to create simple documentation with different heading levels, text in bold and/or italics, text in lists, or documentation that includes hyperlinks. More information can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown.

Module

A file containing Python definitions and statements. Module files have the .py file extension.

Program

A detailed list of step-by-step instructions that tell the computer exactly what to do.

Programming language

A set of exact and unambiguous instructions that can be understood by the computer.

Semantics

The meaning of an element in a programming language. For example, the len() function in Python is used to determine the length of a data structure that is defined in memory.

Software

Another name for a program.

Syntax

The form of an element in a programming language. For example, the print function in Python expects the syntax print('hello') in order to have the word hello displayed on the screen.

Variable

A way of storing values in the memory of the computer using specific names that you define.