PyCon 2016 in Portland, Or
hills next to breadcrumb illustration

Python: A High-Schooler’s Perspective

Rohan Koodli

Audience level:


Python is a great language for beginners and experts alike. In this presentation, I will explain my journey in Python, how I came to use it, and my recent projects. I will discuss some of my projects and my current project involving Phylogenetics and machine learning.


I will talk about my own perspective of how I came to program in Python. In eighth grade, I decided to start programming, as it’s logic and problem solving appealed to me. I first got started with an online AP Course in Java. However, I found this to be awfully complicated, for someone who only had experience in drag-and-drop programming languages like Scratch. Public classes and strong typing just didn't register in my mind then. After a semester, I decided I had enough. Later, I decided to give coding another shot. This time, my father introduced me to Python, which grew on me, since it was very easy to understand the code. Now, I am using Python libraries such as scikit-learn and nilearn and writing machine learning programs. In my presentation, I will speak about my perspective on programming in Python. I will show how I have used Python to implement my project ideas, like machine learning and building evolutionary trees of birds for my science fair project. Phylogenetic trees are used to classify organisms based on evolutionary relationships. I used a gene which is a strong regulator in high altitude flying in birds to build my Phylogenetic tree. I made a Tree class and made functions to build and merge the trees together. Using the class and functions I built, I made Phylogeny trees for the birds and the gene. Then, I used machine learning to make inferences about birds such as predicting on flying altitude with birds of different characteristics (different wing size, lung capacity, etc.).