Python for Humanities: an Intro for Researchers

The eScience Institute and UW Libraries Open Scholarship Commons recently co-hosted a workshop called “Python, your personal research assistant” for participants studying the humanities to explore the Python programming language and how to use it as a tool to aid in qualitative humanities work. Led by eScience Technical Education Specialist Naomi Alterman, the program encouraged students to decipher lines of Python, and learn how to make use of it to complete repetitive tasks. “I’m expecting folks to show up to the workshop with no experience with computer code,” Naomi Alterman said. “And I want them to leave with a suitable argument as to why it’s useful for them in the future.”

The program emphasized that the goal was not to learn how to program, but instead to understand the process of reading pieces of code and beginning to comprehend them, to then be able to reshape existing code and eventually learn to write original Python script. “Feeling comfortable working with code gives us agency as researchers,” explained Alterman. “If we can glean the workings of a tool that we couldn’t necessarily build from scratch, we’ll gain the power to apply it to our own purposes and assess it critically when we see others using it in the wild.”

Read the full article here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s