Youngseok Lee teaches Python for data and network analysis

Youngseok Lee is a Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering at Chungnam National University in Korea. He teaches Python for data and network and analysis to college freshmen and recently translated one of our Hour of Python lessons into Korean! We had the opportunity to learn a little more about Youngseok in the interview below. Check out his thoughts about how powerful Python is and why it’s a great language to learn.

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Youngseok Lee

What was it that originally got you interested in Computer Science and why did you choose to study it?

In my school days in 1990, when I entered the college in Korea, one of the most cutting-edge area in the engineering fields was about computers. Even though I had no chance to use computers or to learn programming before I entered the college, I was fascinated by the computer due to Korean word processor software, virus vaccine programs, PC games (e.g., Tetris), and especially the online communities connected through PC modems, which is the prototype of the WWW. After I entered the college, I could afford to buy a PC and met a new computer world that I haven’t experienced before, which was so important to guide a direction to my life.

Is Computer Science a popular field of study in Korea? Why do you think students are interested in Computer Science today?

In the mid 1990s, Korea as well as the other worlds had experienced the IT bubble. In Korea, the many computer science-based Internet startups have appeared, and have succeeded such as Naver (Korean Search Engine company), Nexon and NCsoft (the top game software companies in Korea). Due to these new Internet services, government, colleges and students were attracted by computer science technologies. In these days, the smartphone and the mobile software development have changed the industry and education in Korea. In the era of mobile computing, a lot of Korean think that software is so important that it creates a new market that did not exist before such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Kakaotalk, Line, and mobile games. This trend has made Computer Science one of the hottest majors in Korea.


What programming language(s) do you recommend for beginners and what’s the advantage of those in your mind?

As a computer network engineer, I have to use C programming language, because a lot of network software are built with C (or C++). However, in these days, there are many practical programming languages such as Python or Javascript. In 2014, I studied Python to write a simple data analysis program for computer network applications. After I considered many candidates, I concluded that Python is the most productive and powerful language so that I can answer all my questions of my analysis job in a very simple manner with Python. I can finish a very complicated network analysis program with a few lines in Python. Since then, I was so attracted by Python, and now I use Python in many classes that I am teaching (Data Science, Computer network, Data Structure and Algorithm). Python is so easy to start with that non computer science majoring students can learn how to program in a short time. This is why I have proposed to translate the visual introduction to Python in Trinket website. It is very intuitive and fun to learn and teach Python with Trinket. Another interesting feature of Python is the comprehensive packages that are used by many domains, which will empower the effectiveness of Python. Now, I am a strong proponent to teach Python to freshmen in colleges as well as beginners. I highly recommend that every student to take Python lessons from MOOC such as Coursera or EdX and all my students in data networks lab have achieved the certificates of Python classes at Coursera.

Data Networks Lab
Data Networks Lab ( loves to study Python programming, Trinket, and Coursera Python classes.

What other resources do you use for teaching or do you recommend to your students?

In my classes, I put a lot of emphasis on the cloud computing such as Amazon Web Service or MS Azure. While we practice client-side programming, we also have to build the server program together for the end-to-end service. Now, in my class, we use the cloud computing service for every assignment.

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