Neural Networks using Python

I wrote an article titled “Use Python with your Neural Networks” in the November 2014 issue of Visual Studio Magazine. See Although there are several Python implementations of neural networks available, sometimes writing your own code from scratch has advantages. You fully understand the code, you can customize it to meet your needs exactly, and you can keep the code simple (for example, by removing some error checks).


Python is an interesting language. According to several sources, Python is currently one of the ten most common programming languages, and it’s making gains in education (thank goodness — it’s well past time for Java to go away from education). If you work mostly with languages other than Python, a good side effect of exploring a neural network implemented using Python is that the process serves as a very nice overview of the language.

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2 Responses to Neural Networks using Python

  1. Dr. McAffrey, do you have any blog posts expressing your thoughts about Java and Education?

    • Yes indeed! I think the use of the Java language is the worst thing to ever happen to computer science education. I could rant forever, but search for a PDF titled, “Computer Science Education: Where Are the Software Engineers of Tomorrow?” by Dewar and Schonberg.

      “It is our view that Computer Science (CS) education is neglecting basic skills, in particular in the areas of programming and formal methods. We consider that the general adoption of Java as a first programming language is in part responsible for this decline.”

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