One program that a teacher may assign to beginning programming students would be to take a list of numbers and average them together. This recipe does just that and is designed to be easy to read and follow, showing what is possible with a few lines of Python.
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import ast while True: try: string = raw_input('What numbers should I average? ') words = string.split() numbers = [ast.literal_eval(word) for word in words] total = sum(numbers) count = len(numbers) average = 1.0 * total / count print 'The average is', average raw_input('Press enter to quit.') break except: print 'Please only give me numbers.'