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This module explains how to use a free educational code visualizer tool created by Philip Guo.

Table of contents


This module is one in a collection of modules on Python designed for teaching ITSE 1359 Introduction to Scripting Languages: Python at Austin Community College in Austin, TX. This module concentrates on the use of the Online Python Tutor , which includes a free educational code visualizer tool created by Philip Guo .

This code visualizer tool helps students overcome a fundamental barrier to learning programming: understanding what happens as the computer executes eachline of a program's source code. Using this code visualizer tool, a teacher or student can write Python, Java, and JavaScript programs in the Web browser andvisualize what the computer is doing step-by-step as it executes those programs.

Viewing tip

I recommend that you open another copy of this module in a separate browser window and use the following links to easily find and view the Figuresand Listings while you are reading about them.


  • Figure 1. The online text editor.
  • Figure 2. Beginning the visualization process.
  • Figure 3. Output following three presses of the Forward button.
  • Figure 4. Same situation, different code.
  • Figure 5. The student torture program.


  • Listing 1. A sample program with proper indentation.
  • Listing 2. Another sample program with proper indentation.

General background information

I touched on the use of the code visualizer in the earlier module titled Itse1359-1050-Introduction to Scripts . I also touched on the code visualizer in the module titled Itse1359-2510-Getting Started with the Online Python Tutor Code Visualizer in this book . The purpose of this module is to provide additional information related to the codevisualizer.

When learning to program, it is often useful to be able to follow the execution of a program step-by-step. A free online tool called the Online Python Tutor makes this possible. The following quotation was copied from pythontutor.com .

" Online Python Tutor is a free educational tool created by Philip Guo that helps students overcome a fundamental barrier to learning programming:understanding what happens as the computer executes each line of a program's source code. Using this tool, a teacher or student can write Python , Java , and JavaScript programs in the Web browser and visualize what the computer is doingstep-by-step as it executes those programs."


I recommend that from this point forward in this course, you copy and paste every sample program into the code visualizer and observe the behavior ofthat code as you step through the program, one instruction at a time. I believe that doing that will help you to better understand Python programming.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
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Source:  OpenStax, Itse 1359 introduction to scripting languages: python. OpenStax CNX. Jan 22, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11713/1.32
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