Computing in Python III: Data Structures

Massive Open Online Course
  • Overview
  • Course Content
  • Requirements & Materials

Computing in Python III: Data Structures

Course Description

Build on your existing knowledge of conditionals, loops, and functions by studying more about complex Python data structures, including strings, lists, dictionaries, and file input and output. Organized into five chapters, this course starts by covering the basics of data structures, then moves on to the four common data structures in Python.

Course Content


  • Building the fundamental types of data – Booleans, integers, floating point numbers, and characters -- into more complex strings, lists, and dictionaries that can be persisted in files


  • Working with series of characters that can represent plaintext messages, passwords, and more, including all the complexities of combining human language with programming code


  • Taking fundamental data types like strings, integers, and floats and organizing them into tuples or lists that can represent complex structures of data; or for added complexity, creating lists of lists to create two-dimensional (or more) data structures


  • Taking information stored in your code and persisting it in an external file that can last after the program has finished executing or loading data from a file into a program for processing


  • Organizing key-value pairs (very similar to variables and values) into higher-level structures that can be easily passed around or reused with some intuitive structure
Requirements & Materials



  • Certain problems may benefit from experience with algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, and trigonometry, but you can succeed without these.


  • CS1301xII or equivalent knowledge is required.



  • Internet connection (DSL, LAN, or cable connection desirable)

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for anyone interested in taking their first steps in computer science, from high school students to professionals. It is expected that you will have also mastered content from the previous course(s) in the sequence.

What You Will Learn

  • Strings, including advanced string methods
  • Tuples and lists, including multi-dimensional lists
  • File input and output, including multiple modes for file access
  • Dictionaries, including replicating object-oriented reasoning using dictionaries

How You Will Benefit

  • Understand how code creates simple and complex computer programs.
  • Use control structures with data structures, such as looping over lists or error.
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