Jupyter Notebooks are digital documents that can be accessed in a web browser without needing to install any special software and consist of a combination of executable program code, interactive comparisons, data visualisations and explanatory texts. The applications include data cleansing and transformation, numeric simulation, statistical modelling, data visualisation, machine learning, and much more. Novices and professionals alike enjoy an easy-to-operate digital working environment for these applications, ideal for analysing, experimenting and particularly learning. Little wonder then that Jupyter Notebooks are a preferred tool in teaching.
Easy access, reliable infrastructure
Using Jupyter Notebooks should thus be made as easy as possible for teaching staff and students, so that the focus is on interactive teaching and learning, rather than on installing and mastering Jupyter. The infrastructure for access with as low a threshold as possible and secure and reliable operation of Jupyter are key themes in the "Jupyter as a Service" .dcall project. As a result, TU.it is working in close cooperation with a number of TU institutes to build a suitably efficient infrastructure. Teaching staff can then construct their environment for students in self-service via TUWEL and cover various scenarios.
Pilot phase starting soon
Work has already begun in the winter semester of 2020 with an initial substantial pilot project in the Geodesy department. The "Introduction to programming I for geodesy, geo-information and environmental engineering" course is being delivered by the department's course director, Gottfried Mandlburger, to a huge number of more than 200 students for the first time. The new Jupyter service will play a central role in the innovative course design. The experiences and developments obtained as part of this project should then also benefit other TU Wien faculties for similarly stored courses.