Topic Thread

1.  Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 13 days ago
Hi,
Though Python is one of the top  programming skills in the analytics world with its numerous capabilities, wondering why C# is not an equally competing programming language, especially when .Net based programming languages also support machine learning? (curious, being from .Net background). I have been surfing internet but didn't find a convincing answer. Appreciate any help here !

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Varalakshmi T(Laks)
University of Washington-Tacoma
Tacoma WA
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2.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 13 days ago

I come from a C++/Matlab background myself, and have used C# extensively as well. I do prefer those languages but have been working with R more recently.

The short list of reasons for why Python is more popular than C#:

1) Not tied to the Microsoft eco-system (although C# is open source), and cross-platform
2) Python is easy to learn for people who are new to writing software, also people with a software background can pick it up fast
3) Very active communities with tutorials, documentation, etc.
4) Many libraries have been built for Python, which makes it more desirable to use
5) Much of the Python libraries are written in C++ under the hood so you can get decent speed

I'm sure there are other reasons but this is what I've found in my experience this far.

Erik



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Erik Burd
University of San Francisco
San Francisco CA
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3.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 12 days ago
I concur with Erik Burd's list. I have been using programming languages for scientific assessment since the mid-to-late 1970s, when I started with FORTRAN & Assembler (yes...that makes me old). I was raised through "formal" training in Pascal, C, C++, C#, Java... etc.

Nevertheless, I like the relative ease of use of the various Python libraries (NumPy, SciPy, Plotly, ...) and the ability to cobble together analysis very quickly.

Am also a fan of R, of Matlab, and (quite frankly) of visual basic programming in Excel, which I still find far and away to be a very nice tool for translating numbers and series into visual displays as well as being quite capable of supporting rapid "what-if" assessments, particularly of raw measurements.

I work principally with measured data from patients and I have found no tool to enable me to visualize and target specific areas of interest better than Excel. I then write targeted programming routines for detailed analysis in Python or R.

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John Zaleski, Ph.D., CAP, CPHIMS
Chief Analytics Officer
Bernoulli Enterprise, Inc.
jzaleski@bernoullihealth.com
C1: (484) 319-7345
C2: (203) 343-9225
Elkton, MD & Milford, CT
United States
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4.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 10 days ago
Hi,
Thank you everyone for your valuable inputs in this discussion. I agree that Python being light weight and open source helps the Data Scientists to get work done quickly with readily available packages. The trend could change with many programming languages going forward.
I miss the Intellisense part though ! Glad that Visual studio supports Python.

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Varalakshmi(Laks) Tyaggarajan
University of Washington-Tacoma
Tacoma WA
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5.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 12 days ago
Hi!

I believe that Python has a repl - read, evaluate, process, loop capability, which makes it easier to test code.

Also, in general, languages that do not require compilation as a separate step, i.e. basic, APL (for us old folks), python, . . . tend to be lighter in they often require less boilerplate.  Some of the newer programming languages that are compiled have picked up on this, so the trend may change.

Finally (from my perspective), languages like python and apl make it very easy to work with matrices, arrays, . . .

I suspect that all programming languages will move in this direction, so that there is less marginal benefit in using languages like python for quick development/experimentation.

All the best . . .

Phil Troy

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Phil Troy
Cote Saint-Luc QC
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6.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 10 days ago
1. The Read, evaluate, print, loop (REPL) (an enhanced interactive prompt for those more familiar with Matlab or Mathematica) is essential for data analysis. A lot of the work is in data is trial and error, and being able to interactively try things is a big advantage that all of the main data analysis environments have.
2. To expand on the comment of Erik Burd on the active communities and libraries, a second big advantage that the main data analysis environments (Python, R, Matlab) are the quantitative and scientific libraries/packages/modules available.  All are built on a foundation of linear algebra and numerical analysis libraries, and this means that other technical libraries are available using them.  So R becomes probably the best environment for statistics and data analysis.  Matlab if you are in electrical or chemical engineering.  But Python has an additional advantage over R in that it is a well used language in a wide range of domains.  So I think of Python as second to R for statistical and data analysis work, but because there are python libraries available for things such as symbolic math, optimization, simulation, and a wide range of subject specific libraries in a wide range of sciences, and that it has a wider range of facilities for managing data, working with GUI and the internet, I will often use Python because the project I'm working with is bigger than just statistics and data analysis.  SciPy has a section on their website devoted to listing all of the other (than the base numerical libraries detailed at SciPy.org - SciPy.org) scientific libraries that are available in Python (Topical Software - SciPy.org), and because of this range, whenever I find myself in a situation where I need to do analytics and ____, I often find myself choosing Python.

[Background note: I used Python in my dissertation, but for teaching undergraduate and graduate analytics courses, I have settled on R as my language for teaching]

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Louis Luangkesorn
Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial Engineering
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh PA
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7.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 4 days ago
This is only related to this thread for the subject line.

Ladies- I just found the coolest website for dresses, and no matter your preference, you could buy a python (Python Code Fit & Flare Dress) or C (C Language Code Stripes Fit & Flare Dress) language dress! Plus a lot of other cool nerdy prints, I'm going to stock up! :)

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Mary Leszczynski
Design & Brand Manager
INFORMS
Catonsville MD
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8.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 3 days ago
Those are great!  Thanks!

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Betty Love
University of Nebraska - Omaha
Omaha NE
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9.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 2 days ago
Hello:

I feel that the points by @Erik Burd , especially 3-5 are important. The availability of libraries and support for solving problems is important for the research community to stick with a language. The introduction of a new language, for example the languages like Julia and all needs to compete with the community who creates this large library base of R and Python.
In addition to that Python community accepts their limitation and finds solutions for that, as the 5th one pointed out. Many python libraries use C++ code for its implementation.

​​

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Sreekanth V K
Research Scholar
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
Kharagpur
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10.  RE: Significance of python compared to C#

Posted 2 days ago
Mary - Love the dresses! Very creative!


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Erik Burd
University of San Francisco
San Francisco CA
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