CSE 40657/60657

Programming environment

The “official” programming environment for homework assignments will be:

Examples, skeleton code, and solutions will use the above; however, if you prefer to use something else, you are free to.

On student{00-03}, the Python installed at /afs/ has all of the above installed.


You probably have Python installed already; if you haven't switched to Python 3 yet, now's the time!

  1. If you need to install Python, the simplest way to get it is probably Miniconda.
  2. If you want to keep packages for this course separated from your system-wide packages, create a virtualenv:
    virtualenv nlp
    source nlp/bin/activate      # sh/ksh/bash/zsh
    #source nlp/bin/activate.csh # csh/tcsh
  3. If you need a refresher on Python, see the tutorial. Or if you're used to Python 2, here is a list of differences.


  1. To install NumPy:
    pip install numpy
  2. If you've never used NumPy before, see our tutorial or the official tutorial.


  1. To install Autograd:
    pip install autograd
  2. For an introduction to Autograd, read our tutorial or the official tutorial.

Other learning toolkits

We're using Autograd because it's simple and clean. However, it's not a deep learning toolkit per se, and certainly not industrial-strength. If you'd like to try an alternative, here are few pointers: