Lecture: Writing Programs

Temperature Conversion

From Fahrenheit to Celsius


  • celsius
  • fahrenheit
  • print
  • main
  • eval
  • input

Can you find the expressions and statements in the code below?

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def main():
    celsius = eval(input("What is the Celsius temperature? "))
    fahrenheit = (9/5) * celsius + 32
    print("The temperature is", fahrenheit, "degrees Fahrenheit")
What is the Celsius temperature? 10
The temperature is 50.0 degrees Fahrenheit

Identifiers are labels that refer to data values, function or class names (among other examples.) They follow certain rules, such as they must begin with a letter or underscore ("_") and can contain letters, underscores and numbers afterwards.

Variables are also case insensitive. e.g.:

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FooBar = 10
foobar = 20
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print(FooBar, foobar)

You may receive a NameError exception if you attempt to refer to a variable before it is even given a value. For example, we attempt to print blah, but that will fail because we have no value associated with it.

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Som examples of statements, two arithmetic and one function call to print().

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x = 3.14
y = 20 * (1/2) + x

Did you know you can assign multiple variables simultaneously on one line? Consider setting _sum and diff simultaneously.

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x = 100
y = 33
_sum, diff = x+y, x-y
#sum([10, 20])
print(_sum, diff)
133 67

A special use case of this simulatenous assignment is to swap values! Using the values of x and y, above, we can swap their values.

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x,y = y,x
print(x, y)
33 100

In other programming languages, you may not have this nicety. Instead, you would need a temporary variable (temp) to hold a value while a swapping occurs. This traditional technique is below (but, unnecessary in Python).

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temp = x
x = y
y = temp
print(x, y)
100 33

Another unique trick is using the eval()-input() pattern to have a user of a program enter a string a values on one line, instead of asking for multiple lines of input. The variables a, b, and c are set to integer values as processed by input() (which returns the text input from the keyboard) and eval() (which attempts to interpret the literal text as Python expressions, so numbers are converted into either int or float data types.

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a,b,c = eval(input("Enter three numbers (a,b,c): "))
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