Five-Project Series

Think Computationally with Five Small Python Projects you own this product

basics of Python • basics of pandas • basic data structures and algorithms • recursive functions
skills learned
common Python libraries • MIME Multipart messages • simulating probability with random libraries • creating a UI window, canvas, and adding and manipulating objects • brute-force solutions • dealing with missing or bad data • plotting columns in a data frame
Ana Bell
5 weeks · 4-6 hours per week average · BEGINNER

pro $24.99 per month

  • access to all Manning books, MEAPs, liveVideos, liveProjects, and audiobooks!
  • share your subscription with another person
  • choose one free eBook per month to keep
  • exclusive 50% discount on all purchases

lite $19.99 per month

  • access to all Manning books, including MEAPs!


5, 10 or 20 seats+ for your team - learn more

In this series of liveProjects, you’ll kick off your Python programming portfolio by creating five separate and fully-functional projects. Each project is focused on a different usage of Python, and designed to test and grow your skills in these valuable areas. These challenges will familiarize you with important Python tools, techniques, and libraries.

These projects are designed for learning purposes and are not complete, production-ready applications or solutions.

liveProject mentor David Moskowitz shares what he likes about the Manning liveProject platform.

here's what's included

Project 1 How to Think About Solving a Maze

In this quick liveProject, you’ll design and implement an algorithm to solve a simple maze, revealing a path to the exit.

Project 2 How to Think about Automating Email
In this quick liveProject, you’ll automate the process of filling out a custom email from a CSV of email addresses and exam scores. You’ll then implement a randomizer to assign a random discussion partner, all using a Python library of your choice.
Project 3 How to Think about Simulating Nature
In this quick liveProject, you’ll write a UI that simulates water drops on a window during rain. You’ll use nested lists, the random library, and tkinter to increase droplet size with certain probability, and resetting sizes when drops become too big.
Project 4 How to Think about Scheduling Tasks
In this quick liveProject, you’ll develop a simple task scheduler app. Your challenges will include coding functionality that will arrange a day’s tasks to either minimize time left over during a day, or to provide the greatest variety of tasks during a day.
Project 5 How to Think about Manipulating Data
In this quick liveProject, you’ll use the pandas library to read a table from a Wikipedia page into a DataFrame, clean and arrange the data into columns, and extract useful information quickly to reveal data insights.

book resources

When you start each of the projects in this series, you'll get full access to the following book for 90 days.

choose your plan


only $41.67 per month
  • five seats for your team
  • access to all Manning books, MEAPs, liveVideos, liveProjects, and audiobooks!
  • choose another free product every time you renew
  • choose twelve free products per year
  • exclusive 50% discount on all purchases
  • Think Computationally with Five Small Python Projects project for free

project author

Ana Bell
Dr. Ana Bell is a lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. She has co-lectured two introductory computer science courses in Python for the past five years. She was first introduced to Python in graduate school at Princeton University, where she started using it to parse and reformat large files in her research and found it to be an intuitive language to learn and use. Since then, she's used it for work and personal tasks, and most recently started tinkering with various data science libraries.


These liveProjects are for beginner Python programmers with a basic mastery of the language, and an understanding of common Python libraries. To begin these liveProjects, you will need to be familiar with the following:

  • Basics of Python
  • Basics of pandas
  • Basic data structures and algorithms
  • Recursive functions

you will learn

In these liveProjects, you’ll learn important Python skills that will take you from a beginner to an intermediate programmer. These skills are an excellent foundation for data science, app development, and scripting.

  • Common Python libraries
  • MIMEMultipart messages
  • Simulating probability with random libraries
  • Creating a UI window, canvas, and adding and manipulating objects
  • Brute-force solutions
  • Dealing with missing or bad data
  • Plotting columns in a data frame


You choose the schedule and decide how much time to invest as you build your project.
Project roadmap
Each project is divided into several achievable steps.
Get Help
While within the liveProject platform, get help from other participants and our expert mentors.
Compare with others
For each step, compare your deliverable to the solutions by the author and other participants.
book resources
Get full access to select books for 90 days. Permanent access to excerpts from Manning products are also included, as well as references to other resources.