New book on IPython

Cyrille Rossant, one of the developers of Brian, has written a new book “Learning IPython for Interactive Computing and Data Visualization“. Recently, IPython has really become an excellent tool for scientific computation, growing far beyond its roots as an enhanced interactive shell for Python. It now supports the IPython notebook (which lets you mix text, mathematics, code and results, like in Mathematica notebooks), and a parallel computing engine to use multiple cores or machines. Unfortunately, the online documentation is not as easy to follow as it could be, which is where Cyrille’s book comes in handy. He covers everything from installation to advanced topics like high performance computing and customizing IPython, using clear, worked examples with publicly available datasets. In addition to IPython, he also briefly covers using important scientific computing Python packages such as NumPy, SciPy, Cython and Pandas. And of course, for the next major release of Brian we’re working on incorporating lots of support for the IPython workflow. If you haven’t yet tried IPython or if you’ve only just started using it, I’d highly recommend Cyrille’s book (reasonably priced at around $15 for the ebook version). There’s even plenty of stuff in there for more experiened users too.