April 15, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 8)
Strong Points: Free software downloads, good documentation
Weak Points: None
Computer programming is becoming (or rather, already has become) an essential skill for modern-day life scientists. A popular programming language in many fields is Python, in large part due to its open-source development. As a result, there exist many free resources available to both experienced and novice Python users. A large collection of such resources can be found on SciPy.org, home of a number of scientific and computational software packages/libraries for Python. In addition to offering free downloads of those packages, the SciPy website also includes SciPy Central (a collection of useful Python code snippets), a blog, documentation for the various software packages, and a place for users to report bugs. Site visitors in search of even more information can browse the SciPy Cookbook, a collection of user-contributed “recipes” that span topics such as graphics, linear algebra, simple plotting, and differential equations.