MS&E351 Software

Virtual machine

We have created a virtual machine for use in computational assigments. To use it, first download and install the version of VirtualBox suitable for your operating system. Then, download and unzip the MS&E 351 virtual machine file. If you use a unix-based operating system like OSX or Ubuntu, the unzipping can be done by applying the command tar -zxvf msande351vm.tar.gz at the terminal command prompt after placing the file in a directory of your choosing.

The virtual machine has software useful for the class pre-installed. This includes modules that are widely used by data and decision scientists, like numpy and scipy, as well as custom software written to facilitate coursework, including an msande351 python module and an ipython startup script.

We will occasionally update the module, adding tools or fixing bugs. When we do, you should download the updated version and replace the file at /home/msande351/python/startup/ on the virtual machine. Note that you can download and place a file in an appropriate directory on the virtual machine by accessing the course web site via the web browser on the virtual machine (Firefox), right-clicking the hyperlink to the file, and selecting Save Link As….

If you choose to forgo technical support from the staff and the benefits of using a computational environment in common with your classmates, you can also work with your own computational environment.

Python tutorial

Those who have little experience with python or ipython may find this tutorial helpful. For those who have experience, this tutorial should still be useful as guidance on how to start ipython in the virtual machine and how to use the python module prepared for this course.