In the first week, you should set up your environment with the necessary tools. We’ll be using Java (openjdk 11 recommended), JSTK and bash in the first half, Python with Keras and Tensorflow in the second.

If you’re using a PC, I stronly recommend to use linux (eg. Ubuntu), ideally as your native OS. If you have a CUDA-ready graphics card in your machine, make sure to install the cudatk.

Refresh Your Java Skills

We’ll be starting with Java programming next week. I suggest using IntelliJ, the community edition is free. Make sure you’re up to date on how to parse and write basic text files, and how to work with the standard containers.

Things you should be familar with:


Although we won’t be using it for just a few more weeks, please set up a new git repository, and add JSTK as a submodule.

mkdir sl-examples
git init
git submodule add

Make sure to include jstk in your gradle build file. We will also be using the Apache Commons lang3, beanutils and configuration2 as well as junit5. While IntelliJ does all the env magic for you, you may want to specify an env target that produces the correct CLASSPATH variable to be exported. Here’s a partial example:

task env (dependsOn: configurations.runtime) {
    doLast {
        println "export CLASSPATH=${(configurations.runtime + sourceSets.main.runtimeClasspath).collect { File file -> file.absolutePath } join ':' }"

dependencies {
    compile group: 'org.apache.commons', name: 'commons-lang3', version: '3.7'
    compile group: 'commons-beanutils', name: 'commons-beanutils', version: '1.9.3'
    compile group: 'org.apache.commons', name: 'commons-configuration2', version: '2.2'
    compile project(':jstk')  // comes with junit



Note: The solutions to the Java exercises can be found in sikoried/sl-examples, which has jstk as a submodule.

Refresh Your Bash Skills

Throughout this class, we’ll be using a lot of bash. In case you’re not familiar, here’s a bash scripting tutorial.

Refresh Your Python Skills

We won’t be using Python for a while, but if you have never worked with python, you should start looking into it.