448/563 Essential preparation for Day 1

Dear students in MTH 448/563 Data-Oriented Computing,

I am very much looking forward to meeting you on Monday!

This is a thoroughly hands-on class, in which you will need to bring your laptop to class every day. If this is a problem for you, please let me know immediately so that we can work something out.

To prepare for our activities on Monday, please do all of the following. This could take up to an hour, so please get started at your earliest convenience.

1. Install Python

Install on your laptop the Anaconda distribution of Python 3.7 which you can download from here: https://www.anaconda.com/distribution/ making sure to select the version for your operating system (Windows/macOS/Linux). Download took about 10 minutes on my home network. If necessary use Google to find out how to run the installer.

2. Update packages

Open the Anaconda Prompt and type

conda update --all

(and Enter). Wait for all the packages to be updated. When that's done (it might take a while), ...

3. Check Jupyter Notebook

Open Jupyter Notebook and check that it's working. This can be done by starting Anaconda Navigator and clicking on Jupyter Notebook, or by typing

jupyter notebook

in the Anaconda Prompt. Note: it may take quite a few seconds for Jupyter to start up the very first time. A Jupyter Notebook tab will open in your browser. In that tab select New ... Python 3. A new notebook tab wil open in the browser. In the blank cell of the notebook, type


and Shift-Enter. You should see the result 4.

4. Install OpenCV

Install an extra package that we'll use Monday. In the Anaconda Prompt. type:

conda install -c conda-forge opencv

It can take several minutes in the step "Solving environment". Once the installation is complete, test it by typing in a Jupyter Notebook cell

import cv2

(and Shift-Enter). If you see no error message, you are all set.

5. Take a photo

As part of a review of Numpy on Monday, we will use the green-screen technique to place an arbitrary background in a photo of you. Please use your phone camera to take a photo of something you'd like to use as your background in this exercise, and transfer the photo to your laptop.

If you run into any difficulty, email me: I will be checking my email frequently over the weekend.

See you soon!

John Ringland