Assignment: Basic Python

Learning Goals

This assignment will verify that you have the following skills:

  • Create lists and dictionaries

  • Iterate through lists, tuples, and dictionaries

  • Index sequences (e.g. lists and tuples)

  • Define functions

  • Use optional keyword arguments in functions

Part I: Lists and Loops

In this problem, we will explore the basic data structures and flow controls of Python by manually creating data structures.


Pluto is not a planet any more.

1) Create a list with the names of every planet in the solar system (in order)

2) Have Python tell you how many planets there are by examining your list

3) Use slicing to display the first four planets (the rocky planets)

4) Iterate through your planets and print the planet name only if it has an s at the end

Part II: Dictionaries

1) Now create a dictionary that maps each planet name to its mass

You can use values from this NASA fact sheet. You can use whatever units you want, but be consistent.

2) Use your dictionary to look up Earth’s mass

3) Loop through the data and create a list of planets whose mast is greater than 100 x 10^24 kg

Display your result

4) Now add pluto to your dictionary

Part III: Functions

1. Write a function to convert temperature from kelvin to celsius

and celsius to kelvin

2. Write a function to convert temperature to fahrenheit

Include an optional keyword argument to specify whether the input is in celcius or kelvin. Call your previously defined functions if necessary.

3) Check that the outputs are sensible

by trying a few examples

4) Now write a function that converts from farenheit

and uses a keyword argument to specify whether you want the output in celcius or kelvin

5) Write a function that takes two arguments (feet and inches) and returns height in meters

Verify it gives sensible answers

6. Write a function takes one argument (height in meters) and returns two arguments (feet and inches)

(Consult the tutorial on numbers if you are stuck on how to implement this.)

7) Verify that the “round trip” conversion from and back to meters is consistent

Check for 3 different values of height in meters