M4 - Getting Started with Python for Data Scientists

Type of Course - Dates - Venue - Description - Target audience - Exam - IMPORTANT: Incorporation in DTP and reimbursement by DS
Course prerequisites - Teacher - Course material - Book recommendations - Fees - Enrol

This course is full. If you are interested in taking part send a filled out registration form (See 'Enrol') to ipvw.ices@ugent.be and we will put you on a waiting list.

Type of course

 This is an on campus course, with blended learning options.


5 Monday and Thursday evenings in December 2021: December 6, 9, 13, 16 and 20, 2021, from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm.
Please note: the deadline for UGent PhD students who want a refund to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Recognition) is November 5, 2021.


Faculty of Science, Site Sterre, Krijgslaan 281, building S5, Ghent, PC hybride 1.1 (=Grace Hopper), first floor. (Soleway route description)


Python started off as a general-purpose programming language, but in the last decade it has become a popular environment for data science. The reason is that the community of Python users have recently created useful add-on packages which are suitable for data manipulation, preparation, visualization and analysis. This practical course introduces both base Python and the most important packages in a hands-on way with many exercises.

The contents of the course are:

  • Introduction: Python and the Anaconda distribution
  • Data types: numbers, strings, lists, tuples, sets and dictionaries
  • Automation: control flow and self-defined functions
  • Importing data and exporting results
  • Managing data with NumPy and pandas
  • Graphs with matplotlib and seaborn
  • Statistical analysis with statsmodels

The objective of the course is that you are capable of doing data management, visualization and analysis in Python on your own.

Python is an open-source programming language which you can freely download from https://www.anaconda.com/download/ (i.e. the Anaconda distribution). Python version 3 or higher is recommended.

Target audience

This course targets professionals and investigators from diverse areas with little to no Python-programming experience who wish to start using Python for their data manipulation, data exploration or statistical analysis.


There is no exam connected to this module. Participants receive a certificate of attendance via e-mail at the end of the course.

Incorporation in DTP and reimbursement from DS for UGent PhD students

As a UGent PhD student, to be able to incorporate this 'specialist course' in your Doctoral Training Program (DTP) and get a reimbursement of the registration fee from your Doctoral School (DS) you need to follow strict rules: please take the necessary action in time. The deadline to open a dossier on the DS website (Application for Recognition) for this course is November 5, 2021. Please note that opening a dossier does not mean that you are enrolled. You still need to enrol via the registration form on this site.

Course prerequisites

The course is open to all interested persons. Knowledge of basic statistical concepts and experience with other programming languages are considered advantages, but not required for learning the Python language.


Foto Koen PlevoetsDr. Koen Plevoets is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication of Ghent University. His research focusses on the cognitive load of interpreters. He obtained his PhD in linguistics in 2008 and he has specialized master’s degrees in Artificial Intelligence and in Statistics. He has over 15 years of experience in categorical data analysis, multivariate statistics and text mining. His interests are visualizations of complex data, for which he uses the open-source programming languages R and Python.

Course material

Copies of Python scripts and data files.

Book recommendations

A recommended handbook for further study is 'An introduction to statistics with Python'  by Haslwanter, Thomas (2016), Vienna: Springer. ISBN 978-3-319-28316-6. Those who wish to explore statistics with Python further after the course can order it online or at their local book store. Please note that you do not need a copy of this book to follow the course.


A different price applies, depending on your main type of employment.

Employment Module 4
Industry/Private sector1 600
Non-profit, government, higher education staff2 450
(Doctoral)students, retired, unemployed2 205

1 If two or more employees from the same company enrol simultaneously for this course a reduction of 20% on the module price is taken into account starting from the second enrolment.

2 UGent staff and UGent doctoral students who pay internally via SAP or internal transfer can participate at these special rates.

Enrol for this course