Introduction to Computing and Programming in Python, A Multimedia Approach

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-01
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
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Guzdial introduces programming as a way of creating and manipulating media-a context familiar and intriguing to today's readers.Starts readers with actual programming early on. Puts programming in a relevant context (Computing for Communications). Includes implementing Photoshop-like effects, reversing/splicing sounds, creating animations. Acknowledges that readers in this audience care about the Web; introduces HTML and covers writing programs that generate HTML. Uses the Web as a Data Source; shows readers how to read from files, but also how to write programs to directly read Web pages and distill information from there for use in other calculations, other Web pages, etc. (examples include temperature from a weather page, stock prices from a financials page).A comprehensive guide for anyone interested in learning the basics of programming with one of the best web languages, Python.

Author Biography

<>Barbara Ericson is a research scientist and the Director of Computing Outreach for the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. She has been working on improving introductory computing education for over 5 years. She enjoys the diversity of the types of problems she has worked on over the years in computing including computer graphics, artificial intelligence, medicine, and object-oriented programming.


Mark Guzdial is a Professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.  An award-winning teacher and active researcher in computing education, he holds a joint Ph.D. In Education and Computer Science from the University of Michigan. Dr. Guzdial directs Project “Georgia Computes!” which is an NSF funded alliance to improve computing education from pre-teen years to undergraduates.  He is a member of the ACM Education Board and is a frequent contributor to the ACM SIGCSE (Computer Science Education) Symposium.


Barbara Ericson and Mark Guzdial, are recipients of the 2010 Karl V. Karlstom Outstanding Educator Award for their contributions to broadening participation in computing. They created the Media Computation (MediaComp) approach, which motivates students to write programs that manipulate and create digital media, such as pictures, sounds, and videos. Now in use in nearly 200 schools around the world, this contextualized approach to introductory Computer Science attracts students not motivated by classical algorithmic problems addressed in traditional computer science education. They also lead “Georgia Computes!” an NSF-funded statewide alliance to increase the number and diversity of students in computing education across all of Georgia.  Barbara Ericson directs the Institute for Computing Education at Georgia Tech. Mark Guzdial is director of the Contextualized Support for Learning at Georgia Tech.  Together they have written three textbooks using the MediaComp approach to engage and inspire student learning in computing. The Karlstrom Award recognizes educators who advanced new teaching methodologies; effected new curriculum development in Computer Science and Engineering; or contributed to ACM’s educational mission.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction


Chapter 1 Introduction to Computer Science and Media Computation

            1.1 What Is Computer Science About?

            1.2 Programming Languages

            1.3 What Computers Understand

            1.4 Media Computation: Why Digitize Media?

            1.5 Computer Science for Everyone

                1.5.1 It’s About Communication

                1.5.2 It’s About Process


Chapter 2 Introduction to Programming

            2.1 Programming Is About Naming

                2.1.1 Files and Their Names

            2.2 Programming in Python

            2.3 Programming in JES

            2.4 Media Computation in JES

                2.4.1 Showing a Picture

                2.4.2 Playing a Sound

                2.4.3 Naming Values

            2.5 Making a Program

                2.5.1 Variable Recipes: Real Math-like Functions That Take Input


II Pictures


Chapter 3 Modifying Pictures Using Loops

            3.1 How Pictures Are Encoded

            3.2 Manipulating Pictures

                3.2.1 Exploring Pictures

            3.3 Changing Color Values

                3.3.1 Using Loops in Pictures

                3.3.2 Increasing/Decreasing Red (Green, Blue)

                3.3.3 Testing the Program: Did That ReallyWork?

                3.3.4 Changing one Color at a Time

            3.4 Creating a Sunset

                3.4.1 Making Sense of Functions

            3.5 Lightening and Darkening

            3.6 Creating a Negative

            3.7 Converting to Grayscale


Chapter 4 Modifying Pixels in a Range

            4.1 Copying Pixels

                4.1.1 Looping Across the Pixels with range

            4.2 Mirroring a Picture

            4.3 Copying and Transforming Pictures

                4.3.1 Copying

                4.3.2 Creating a Collage

                4.3.3 General Copying

                4.3.4 Rotation

                4.3.5 Scaling


Chapter 5 Advanced Picture Techniques

            5.1 Replacing Colors: Red-Eye, Sepia Tones, and Posterizing

                5.1.1 Reducing Red-Eye

                5.1.2 Sepia-Toned and Posterized Pictures: Using Conditionals

                          to Choose the Color

            5.2 Combining Pixels: Blurring

            5.3 Comparing Pixels: Edge Detection

            5.4 Blending Pictures

            5.5 Background Subtraction

            5.6 Chromakey

            5.7 Drawing on Images

                5.7.1 Drawing with Drawing Commands

                5.7.2 Vector and Bitmap Representations

            5.8 Programs as Specifying Drawing Process

                5.8.1 Why DoWe Write Programs?


Chapter 6 Modifying Sounds Using Loops

            6.1 How Sound Is Encoded

                6.1.1 The Physics of Sound

                6.1.2 Exploring How Sounds Look

                6.1.3 Encoding the Sound

                6.1.4 Binary Numbers and Two’s Complement

                6.1.5 Storing Digitized Sounds

            6.2 Manipulating Sounds

                6.2.1 Open Sounds and Manipulating Samples

                6.2.2 Using the JES MediaTools

                6.2.3 Looping

            6.3 Changing the Volume of Sounds

                6.3.1 Increasing Volume

                6.3.2 Did That ReallyWork?

                6.3.3 Decreasing Volume

                6.3.4 Making Sense of Functions, in Sounds

            6.4 Normalizing Sounds

                6.4.1 Generating Clipping


Chapter 7 Modifying Samples in a Range

            7.1 Manipulating Different Sections of the Sound Differently

            7.2 Splicing Sounds

            7.3 General Clip and Copy

            7.4 Backwards Sounds

            7.5 Mirroring


Chapter 8 Making Sounds by Combining Pieces

            8.1 Composing Sounds Through Addition

            8.2 Blending Sounds

            8.3 Creating an Echo

                8.3.1 Creating Multiple Echoes

                8.3.2 Creating Chords

            8.4 How Sampling KeyboardsWork

                8.4.1 Sampling as an Algorithm

            8.5 Additive Synthesis

                8.5.1 Making SineWaves

                8.5.2 Adding SineWaves Together

                8.5.3 Checking Our Result

                8.5.4 SquareWaves

                8.5.5 TriangleWaves

            8.6 Modern Music Synthesis

                8.6.1 MP3

                8.6.2 MIDI


Chapter 9 Building Bigger Programs

            9.1 Designing Programs Top-Down

                9.1.1 A Top-Down Design Example

            9.1.2 Designing the top-level function

                9.1.3 Writing the subfunctions

            9.2 Designing Programs Bottom-up

                9.2.1 An Example Bottom-Up Process

            9.3 TestingYour Program

                9.3.1 Testing the Edge Conditions

            9.4 Tips on Debugging

                9.4.1 Finding Which Statement toWorry About

                9.4.2 Seeing the Variables

                9.4.3 Debugging the Adventure Game

            9.5 Algorithms and Design

            9.6 Running Programs Outside of JES


IV Text, Files, Networks, Databases, and Unimedia


Chapter 10 Creating and Modifying Text

            10.1 Text as Unimedia

            10.2 Strings: Making and Manipulating Strings

            10.3 Manipulating parts of strings

                10.3.1 String Methods: Introducing Objects and Dot Notation

                10.3.2 Lists: Powerful, Structured Text

                10.3.3 Strings Have No Font

            10.4 Files: Places to PutYour Strings and Other Stuff

                10.4.1 Opening and Manipulating Files

                10.4.2 Generating Form Letters

                10.4.3 Writing Out Programs

            10.5 The Python Standard Library

                10.5.1 More on Import andYour Own Modules

                10.5.2 Another Fun Module: Random

                10.5.3 A Sampling of Python Standard Libraries


Chapter 11 Advanced Text Techniques:Web and Information

            11.1 Networks: Getting Our Text from theWeb

            11.2 Using Text to Shift Between Media

                11.2.1 Using Lists as Structured Text for Media Representations

            11.3 Hiding Information in a Picture


Chapter 12 Making Text for theWeb

            12.1 HTML: The Notation of theWeb

            12.2 Writing Programs to Generate HTML

            12.3 Databases: A Place to Store Our Text

                12.3.1 Relational Databases

                12.3.2 An example relational database using hash tables

                12.3.3 Working with SQL

                12.3.4 Using a Database to BuildWeb Pages


Chapter 13 Creating and Modifying Movies

            13.1 Generating Animations

            13.2 Working with Video Source

                13.2.1 Video Manipulating Examples

            13.3 Building a Video Effect Bottom-Up


Chapter 14 Speed

            14.1 Focusing on Computer Science

            14.2 What Makes Programs Fast?

                14.2.1 What Computers Really Understand

                14.2.2 Compilers and Interpreters

                14.2.3 What Limits Computer Speed?

                14.2.4 Making Searching Faster

                14.2.5 Algorithms That Never Finish or Can’t Be Written

                14.2.6 Why Is Photoshop Faster Than JES?

            14.3 What Makes a Computer Fast?

                14.3.1 Clock Rates and Actual Computation

                14.3.2 Storage: What Makes a Computer Slow?

                14.3.3 Display


Chapter 15 Functional Programming

            15.1 Using Functions to Make Programming Easier

            15.2 Functional Programming with Map and Reduce

            15.3 Functional Programming for Media

                15.3.1 Media Manipulation without Changing State

            15.4 Recursion: A Powerful Idea

                15.4.1 Recursive Directory Traversals

                15.4.2 Recursive Media Functions


Chapter 16 Object-Oriented Programming

            16.1 History

            16.2 WorkingWith Turtles

                16.2.1 Classes and Objects

                16.2.2 Creating Objects

                16.2.3 Sending Messages to Objects

                16.2.4 Objects Control Their State

                16.2.5 Other Turtle Functions

            16.3 Teaching Turtles New Tricks

            16.4 An Object-Oriented Slide Show

                16.4.1 Joe the Box

                16.4.2 Object-Oriented Media

                16.4.3 Why Objects?




A Quick Reference to Python

            A.1 Variables

            A.2 Function Creation

            A.3 Loops and Conditionals

            A.4 Operators and Representation Functions

            A.5 Numeric Functions

            A.6 Sequence Operations

            A.7 String Escapes

            A.8 Useful String Methods

            A.9 Files

            A.10 Lists

            A.11 Dictionaries, Hash Tables, or Associative Arrays

            A.12 External Modules

            A.13 Classes

            A.14 Functional Methods



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