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Advanced Scientific Programming in Python

Many scientists spend much of their time writing, debugging, and maintaining software. But while techniques for doing this efficiently have been developed, only few scientists actually use them. As a result, they spend far too much time writing deficient code and reinventing the wheel instead of doing research. In this course we present a selection of advanced programming techniques with theoretical lectures and practical exercises tailored to the needs of the programming scientist. To spice up theory and foster our new skills in a real-world programming project, we will team up to develop an entertaining scientific computer game.

We will use the Python programming language for the entire course. With a large collection of open-source scientific modules and all features of a full-fledged programming language, Python is rapidly gaining popularity in the neuroscience community. It enables the scientist to quickly develop powerful, efficient, and structured software and is becoming an essential tool for scientific computing.

The summer school is targeted at Post-docs and PhD students from all areas of neuroscience. Substantial proficiency in Python or in another language (e.g. Java, C/C++, MATLAB, Mathematica) is absolutely required. An optional, one-day pre-course is offered to participants without Python experience to familiarize with the language.

Organizers: Michael Schmuker and Tiziano Zito

Faculty members: Pietro Berkes, Jens Kremkow, Eilif Muller, Michael Schmuker, Bartosz Telenczuk, Niko Wilbert, and Tiziano Zito

Crew: Valentin Haenel and Rike Schuppner

Get the official announcement.

Time & Location

The summer school will take place in Berlin, Germany, from August 31 to September 4. On “Day0”, i.e. August 31 a Python crash course will be offered for Python beginners. Attendance to “Day0” is optional. Have a look at Location for a detailed description of the school venue and some hints about accomodation and traveling in Berlin.


Ismail Ari Andrei Belitski Jan Clemens Moritz Deger Christoph Echtermeyer
Alberto Escalante
Mathieu Galtier Peter Gehler Susanne Greiner José Guzmán
Jakob Heinzle Zbigniew Jędrzejewski-Szmek
Maike Kaufman Andreas Kranis Szymon Łęski
Henrik Lindén Marianne Maertens Marco Mariotti Benedict Ng Shien Wei Anja Nörenberg
Michael Pereira Sebastian Philipp Tanja Schmitt Sebastian Schultheiss Jan Sölter
Lorenzo Tattini Glenn Thompson Gerd Wellenreuther
Indrė Žliobaitė Benedikt Zoefel

Some pictures taken during the courses


The Pacman contest

Starting from “Day2” students will auto-organize 5 groups to do team-work on the programming project. As announced, you are going to do some programming for a video game :-).

Introduction to the PacMan contest

Project description

Testing agents

Example agents



Tutors' agents

Tutors' tournament

Faculty Skillz

IT infrastructure

Additional resources and links

Python Code in LaTeX Don't forget to join our official Facebook group!!!

Summer School Evaluation

The evaluation survey has been completed by 29 out of 30 students.

We are really happy that you enjoyed the school so much, and hope to give you an even better experience next time .

Have a look at the results.

What people have said about this course

  • Simply excellent, very easy to follow and of an extraordinary practical value for the scientist daily programming work!!!! [Jose Guzman]
start.txt · Last modified: 2010/05/11 13:41 (external edit)
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