ITEC 600: Python Programming for Business Analytics

Note: This syllabus is a tentative outline for the course. Any changes will be announced.

Instructor Information

Grant Fiddyment
Manager, Research, Philadelphia 76ers
Adjunct Professorial Lecturer, American University

My background is in applied math (e.g. image denoising, ecological network analysis) and neuroscience (seizure simulation and modeling). Now I work with basketball data to help analyze team strategy and performance.

Course Description

This course introduces foundational topics in software development using the Python programming language. It covers Python syntax and data types, development environments like Jupyter Notebook and Spyder, and an introduction to popular packages for analytics. While doing so, the course also introduces several general programming concepts and tools such as the UNIX console, cloud computing, and HTML/CSS/Markdown.

Prerequisite: ITEC 610 Applied Managerial Statistics

Course Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

Students should finish with a basic fluency in reading and writing Python code for simple data analysis. We will start by focusing on exploratory summaries and data visualization, then cover machine learning methods like regression and clustering as time permits. Following this course, students should be prepared to cover machine learning methods in more detail (like those covered in ITEC 621) and/or complete a personal data analysis project.

Course Requirements, Structure, and Expectations

This is an accelerated online course, which means most of the course work will be conducted online in a shorter period than residential courses. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same as those for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make these courses more demanding for some students. It is the expectation of Business@American that students use all available resources to ensure their success.


This course provides an accelerated, hybrid learning experience and is scheduled to run for 10 weeks. Students should review the asynchronous (online) materials in advance of class to enable informed and active participation. Class time will be devoted to reviewing homework, discussing the cases, and answering questions. The live sessions will also serve to augment the readings and assignments by highlighting the major concepts and their applications in business.

Course Communication

Communication in this course will take place via email and on the Learning Platform via the course wall.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud Server

Inside and outside of class, students will run Python and access some course content through a dedicated Amazon Web Services (AWS) server. This will allow practice with remote computing and, very importantly, offer a standardized environment from which to run Python. A link will be announced through the Course Wall.

Students may choose to run a local version of Python as well; however, please note that troubleshooting local workflows can be time-consuming - especially if an issue is specific to your system or can't be replicated - and therefore must be limited to office hours/email.

Student Expectations

Computer programming can be extremely puzzling or frustrating when it doesn't make sense - but equally satisfying when it eventually does. A resilient learning mindset is essential.

Some great advice can be found in this Medium post. These four traits will be especially important:

Sharing of Course Content

To supplement the classroom experience, lectures may be audio or video recorded by faculty and made available to students registered for this class. Faculty may record classroom lectures or discussions for pedagogical use, future student reference, or to meet the accommodation needs of students with a documented disability. These recordings are limited to personal use and may not be distributed, sold, or posted on social media outlets without written permission of the instructor.

Unauthorized downloading, file sharing, or distribution of any part course materials, or using information for purposes other than student’s own learning, may be deemed a violation of American University’s Student Conduct Code and subject to disciplinary action (see Student Conduct Code VI. Prohibited Conduct).

Textbooks and Materials

Primary textbook is entirely free online. Other books can be accessed for free online through the AU Library system.


Package Documentation

Supplemental Materials

Assignments and Assessments / Grading Components / Grading Scale

Grade A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D F
% 93-100 90-92.9 87-89.9 83-86.9 80-82.9 77-79.9 73-76.9 70-72.9 60-69.9 Below 60
Assignment Description Points %
Readings (R) Reflecting on assigned reading (Jupyter Notebook JNB) 30 points x 5 15%
Problem Sets (PS) Python coding practice (JNB) 150 points x 3 45%
Exam Vocabulary; multiple choice; short answer 150 points 15%
Project Data analysis report (JNB) 250 points 25%

Course Calendar

Weekly outlines are listed below. Each topic will feature in the week’s async material as well as the live session. For reading and assignments, students are expected to read the corresponding chapter in Python Data Science Handbook (PDSH) and submit the listed assignment 24 hours before that week’s live session.

Week Topics Packages Assignment
01 Intro to Python R1
02 Base Python datetime, math R2
03 NumPy numpy PS1
04 Pandas Series and DataFrames pandas R3
05 Pandas Series and DataFrames (cont.) pandas PS2
06 Data Visualization with Matplotlib matplotlib R4
07 Web scraping and APIs requests, bs4, quandl PS3
08 Machine Learning statsmodels Exam
09 Machine Learning (cont.) sklearn R5
10 Project presentations Project

Business Netiquette

The term "Netiquette" refers to the etiquette guidelines for electronic communications, such as e-mail and discussion forum postings. Netiquette covers not only rules to maintain civility in discussions but also special guidelines unique to the electronic nature of forum messages. Please review Virginia Shea's The Core Rules of Netiquette for general guidelines that should be followed when communicating in this course.

Online Support Services

If you have any questions about technology requirements, the 2KSB Online Campus or the Live Session classroom, please contact your Student Support Advisor at 2KSB: Located at, this is the student portal used during the program for course information, announcements, class directories, and many more resources. Aside from e-mail, this is the primary way the Kogod Online Program office communicates updates. It is a good practice to check the 2KSB portal every day. Student Support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to help with all questions and issues related to 2KSB. If students need support and cannot access the OC, Student Support can be reached by calling 1-844-KSB-AU00 or 1-844-572-2800 or e-mailing

Technical Requirements

Below, you will find the general requirements for your online program. Please ensure you are checking your notifications for announcements regarding hardware or software requirement changes and note that certain courses may require additional software. Note: For a complete list of technical requirements please refer to page 7 of online learning expectations and navigation on Academic Success and Resource Center.

General Requirements

University Policies

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is paramount in higher education and essential to effective teaching and learning. As a professional school, the Kogod School of Business is committed to preparing our students and graduates to value the notion of integrity. In fact, no issue at American University is more serious or addressed with greater severity than a breach of academic integrity. Standards of academic conduct are governed by the University’s Academic Integrity Code. By enrolling in the School and registering for this course, you acknowledge your familiarity with the Code and pledge to abide by it. All suspected violations of the Code will be immediately referred to the Office of the Dean. Disciplinary action, including failure for the course, suspension, or dismissal, may result. Additional information about the Code (i.e. acceptable forms of collaboration, definitions of plagiarism, use of sources including the Internet, and the adjudication process) can be found in a number of places including the University’s Academic Regulations, Student Handbook, and website. If you have any questions about academic integrity issues or about standards of conduct in this course, please discuss them with your instructor.

Instructor Note Generally, verbal communication is fine for programming assignments, e.g. discussing how you built a block of code or why an error is occuring; however, sharing specific code between students is a violation, e.g. pasting into an email or chat or working from a single document.

Emergency Preparedness

In the event of an emergency, American University will implement a plan for meeting the needs of all members of the university community. Should the university be required to close for a period of time, we are committed to ensuring that all aspects of our educational programs will be delivered to our students. These may include altering and extending the duration of the traditional term schedule to complete essential instruction in the traditional format and/or use of distance instructional methods. Specific strategies will vary from class to class, depending on the format of the course and the timing of the emergency. Faculty will communicate class-specific information to students via AU e-mail and 2KSB, while students must inform their faculty immediately of any absence. Students are responsible for checking their AU e-mail regularly and keeping themselves informed of emergencies. In the event of an emergency, students should refer to the AU Student Portal, the AU Website and the AU information line at (202) 885-1100 for general university-wide information, as well as contact their faculty and/or respective dean’s office for course and school/ college-specific information. In the event that a live session attendee is experiencing a medical emergency, please contact American University Public Safety at (202) 885-3636.

Copyright laws must be observed. These laws govern practices such as making use of printed and electronic materials, duplicating computer software, photoduplicating copyrighted materials, and reproducing audio visual works. The Student Conduct Code prohibits theft and the unauthorized use of documents and requires adherence to local, state, and federal law. These provisions will be enforced through the Student Conduct Code.

Academic Support Services

If you have trouble in this course for any reason, please don’t hesitate to consult with me. In addition to the resources of the department, a wide range of services is available to support you in your efforts to meet the course requirements.

Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC)

All students may take advantage of the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) for individual academic skills counseling, workshops, tutoring, peer tutor referrals, and supplemental instruction. The ASAC is located in Mary Graydon Center 243. Additional academic support resources available at AU include the Bender Library, the Department of Literature's Writing Center (located in the Library), the Math Lab in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, and the Center for Language Exploration, Acquisition, & Research (CLEAR) in Asbury Hall. A more complete list of campus-wide resources is available in the ASAC. Contact (202) 885-3360 or for more details.

Kogod Center for Business Communications (KCBC)

Kogod Center for Business Communications is Kogod’s in-house resource for helping with your writing, public speaking, and team assignments. Wise communicators always welcome suggestions to improve their work. The CBC staff and peer consultants provide friendly feedback so that your business writing is clear, concise, credible, and creative. They’ll also coach your individual and team presentations, providing advice on effective delivery, impactful PowerPoints, and tips for data visualization. For an appointment, go to the Center for Business Communications website or email

Student Support Services

Diversity and Inclusion

The Kogod School of Business considers the diversity of its students, faculty, and staff to be a strength and strives to make an inclusive environment for everyone. Dimensions of diversity include sex, race, age, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic class, political ideology, intellectual and physical ability, and primary language. Students are encouraged to speak up and share their perspectives and experiences. This class represents a diversity of backgrounds and experiences, so everyone must show respect for others. If you feel your differences may in some way isolate you from the Kogod community, please speak with the instructor to help you become an active and engaged member of our class and community.

Disability Accomodations

If you wish to receive accommodations for a disability, please notify me with a letter from the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC). As accommodations are not retroactive, timely notification at the beginning of the semester, if possible, is strongly recommended. To register with a disability or for questions about disability accommodations, contact the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) at 202-885-3360 or

Kogod Laptop Policy

Kogod implemented a Laptop Policy to insure that all students use a consistent set of quantitative application software products. Kogod expects all students enrolled in Kogod courses to comply with its Laptop Policy, which specifically addresses two key areas:

  1. Use of Compliant Laptops in the classroom
  2. Use of MS Office Professional in a Windows Operating System Environment for all Quantitative assignments

Professors will advise students at least one week prior to class when a compliant laptop device is required for a specific class session. Students are expected to submit all quantitative assignments (Excel, Access) using the MS Windows Operating Systems version of MS Office products. Visit the Laptop Policy to determine if your laptop is compliant and how to be prepared for class. Please note that the University Computer Labs feature devices that allow students to complete assignments outside of the classroom.

Dean of Students Office

If you’re experiencing a significant medical condition that may affect your academic progress, I encourage you to work directly with the Dean of Students Office and B@A Advising office. Should I need additional information or verification regarding your medical condition resulting in absence(s), I will contact the Dean of Students office. I cannot accept medical documentation directly from you; therefore, you will need to submit your medical documentation to the DOS office and B@A Advising office.

Library Resources

Please visit University Library webpage for library resources.