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Kyoto University releases free Python textbooks

Kyoto University has released free of charge the Python textbooks used as teaching materials for programming exercises in the university-wide common courses.

The textbooks are available on the Kyoto University Academic Information Repository ‘KURENAI’ and have been downloaded more than one million times in total.

The textbooks began to be used in classes in 2018 and have been updated every year, incorporating student feedback. In the 2023 edition, which is the latest edition at the time of writing, typographical errors in the previous year’s edition have been corrected, difficult-to-read texts have been revised, and explanations supplemented in the previous year’s classes have been added. Other improvements are still being made, such as revising chapters and adding new exercises, some five years after its publication.

The textbook was written by Hajime Kita, Professor at the Faculty of International Advanced Education, Kyoto University, and others. Why did a university professor decide to write a Python textbook? After attending PyCon APAC 2023, a conference for developers where Python users gather, a university professor dared to start writing a textbook from scratch, instead of the programming textbooks and reference books that are generally sold.