After a little more than a month of diving into the python programming language I am happy to finally be making some progress. Having only a minimal experience in Matlab it took some time to learn what was mean by “object oriented” and to learn the new syntax. After learning how to manipulate classes, definitions, and attributes I was able to write a series of short modules to solve and check my structures assignments. These are still very clunky and riddled with worthless chucks of free floating commented code scraps from experiments. Even though it’s not the prettiest thing to look at it still was a great learning experience and serves it purpose well.
Then after writing this code it came to my attention that there are most likely was to improve it, make it simpiler, or more diverse. I really needed a method for doing symbolic algebra, that is, given a system of equations and solve of x and y, linear algebra. I stumbled upon sympy. a beautiful mathmatical tool kit for python which is supposed to work on par with mathmatica and maple. I was then able to work this sympy ( symbolic python ) into my homework modules to automatically locate the zero point of shear and moment diagrams, or to locate the displacement in a beam.
Then I came across the toolkits Matplot and numpy (number python) and they opened up the possibilities of my python ten fold. Its as if I have a full working, contained, and more versatile version of Matlab on my computer, and the best part is….IT WAS FREE!!! There are a couple of downfall though. The syntax and moving from one toolkit to another is not a simple as in Matlab, things do not seem as intuitive. All commands need to be run as methods of their respective toolkit, that is prefixed with toolkit name.
Mapping, plotting manipulating data, displaying, graphing, organizing, playing, it is all so awesome right now. It took a little over a month of screwing around when I had extra free time and BOOM i now have the skills and tools that could safe me tons of time in the future, serve as a great learning tool, and hopefully secure A’s in my final classes.
Finally, the newest thing I’ve started dabbling in is tkinter. Yet another python toolkit that makes simple GUIs. I’ve only had the opportunity to follow a few simple “hello world” type tutorials, and yet even these were very exciting. I was surprised to see an actual window pop up on the screen complete with the three options to minimize, maximize or exit located on the top right of the window….and there was a button, that i could click, that said “hello, world” on it, and when i clicked it, to my surprise, in the terminal was printed as phrase, a very optimistic phrase, “HELLO WORLD”, all in CAPITALS!!
Here are a few projects i would like to work on and some more things i need to learn how to do:
1. structures programs similar to SAP2000, draw beam and forces, draw deformation with matplot, 2. create GUI for simple programs 3. crate simple Chemistry stoichiometry, and acid-base reaction modules. balance equations, and titration simulations 4. Learn how to interface with the WEB. it would be excellent access and import data from multiple sources from multiple areas such as elemental data. How to interact with search engines and web pages 5. How to manipulate image (RGB) and sound files. I have had some past experience in mat lab with RGB but sound like WAV and MP3 will be completely new territory. 6. Animation 7. Python and Linux.
These are all things that i believe to be accomplish able in not to long of time, and they of course wont be done simultaneously. Taking each one a little at at time, focusing on each small component until it all comes together. Really wish I would have started on this stuff 5 years ago or earlier. Just thinking if i would of had this interest at 15 the knowledge i would have now.
I know a few people stop by and read this so I will try to find a way to post links to the modles i wrote if any one would like to (or be willing to) review them. Also, if you have similar experience and/or advise please leave a comment! I think there’s a lot of great people and blog on this sight and would like meet and see as many as possible.