Python (programming language)

Last revised by Yuranga Weerakkody on 20 Sep 2019

Python is a high-level, general-purpose computer programming language. Initially, Python was created by Dutch computer programmer Guido van Rossum and was first released in 1991.  The version 3.7.4 (which is the most recent stable release as of July 2019) Python language has objects and associated machinery built into it. It is a popular programming language employed for machine learning and data science1 and can be run from multiple operating systems including MS Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Python documentation can be found on the official site ( and official documentation site (

The Python language created back in 1991 was drastically different from Python today.  Although Guido van Rossum influenced the language over its lifetime, he is not the sole author of the language.  In fact, the language is developed by several working groups (each implementation has its own group), and it is defined by PEP (Python Enhancement Proposal) documents, which can be submitted by anyone and are accepted through a voting mechanism, whereas voters are generally referred as "Python core developers".

The name 'Python' is a tribute to the British comedy group Monty Python. 

There is an ongoing discussion in many radiological societies about how much practical training in programming will be necessary to radiologists in the near future. Although code written in Python is running behind the scenes in many systems radiologists use every day in clinical practice, most radiologists (who are not working in imaging informatics) will encounter Python used as a research tool. For a radiologists interested in verifying research done with Python code, it is helpful to understand that Python is both a program (for executing Python code) and a programming language. In order to verify findings based on Python programs obtaining both Python and the correct packages are necessary. 

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