Python Basics

With Illustrations from the Financial Markets

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Why was this written?

This book grew out of the EPAT lectures that we have been conducting in Python for a number of years. These notes give us the freedom to marinate on some concepts a little longer and fill in on gaps that arise in the lecture format.

We hope that our writing is compact and adequate for you, the reader, to obtain a greater understanding of the language and some of its essential libraries. We expect that for the interested reader, this book would be among the first of many books or blogs that you would read on Python.

Who should read this?

We think it should be useful to anyone who wants a brief introduction to Python and the key components of its data science stack, and Python programmers who want a quick refresher on using Python for data analysis.

We do not expect any of our readers to have a formal background in computer science, although some familiarity with programming would be nice to have. The concepts and ideas here are covered with several examples to help connect theory to practice.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How to read this?
  • Read the book sequentially at your own pace from beginning to end. Ideally, you should read the chapters before or soon after you attend/ watch the relevant EPAT lectures. It will certainly help in developing intuitions on new concepts that you pick up.
  • Blaze through the book linearly to get a big picture view of all the areas covered. You can then concentrate on the different parts based on what you find harder or what is more important for your work.
  • If you’re already familiar with Python programming, you can pretty much hop on and hop off chapters as you like it.
Is this really free?

Absolutely. This handbook is free and will always be. We believe in sharing some free knowledge that we hope you’ll find useful.



Vivek Krishnamoorthy
Vivek Krishnamoorthy

Vivek is the go-to person to learn computational finance, time series econometrics, and Python. His rich professional experience in finance and academia makes him a proficient instructor on market microstructure, programming in quantitative finance, and statistical techniques used in quantitative trading. His research interests are in quantitative trading strategies, Bayesian statistics, and behavioral finance.

Jay Parmar
Jay Parmar

Jay is a passionate programmer and a derivatives trader. His research interests are in applying machine learning models to various facets of trading. He also develops algorithmic trading systems and is a go-to person to discuss almost anything trading algorithmically.

Mario Pisa Peña
Mario Pisa Peña

Mario Pisa is a Technical Computer Engineer and holds a Master degree in IT Management from the Universidad Europea de Madrid. He has specialized in Quantitative and Systematic Trading with QuantInsti. With more than 15 years of experience in multinational technology companies, he currently works as a consultant with QuantInsti and developing algorithmic systems as freelance. Mario is passionate about technologies and quantitative automated systems and manages his own strategies portfolio.

About us


QuantInsti is one of the pioneer algorithmic trading research and training institutes across the globe. With its educational initiatives, QuantInsti is preparing financial market professionals for the contemporary field of Algorithmic and Quantitative Trading. QuantInsti has also designed education modules and conducted knowledge sessions for/with various exchanges in South and South-East Asia and for leading educational and financial institutions.


QuantInsti’s flagship programme ‘Executive Programme in Algorithmic Trading’ (EPAT) is designed for professionals looking to grow in the field of algorithmic and quantitative trading. It inspires individuals towards a successful career by focusing on derivatives, quantitative trading, electronic market-making financial computing and risk management. This comprehensive certificate offers unparalleled insights into the world of algorithms, financial technology and changing market microstructure with its exhaustive course curriculum designed by leading industry experts and market practitioners.

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