Link Search Menu Expand Document

Homework 3

Due Friday Feb 17th at 4:00pm EST

In this homework, you will practice writing a Python application, dealing with uncleaned data, handling potential errors, and using assert statements. Please read the entire assignment in full before you begin. You might find some helpful information in the Resources section.

Learning goals

  • Identify problems in data programmatically (instead of doing it manually)
  • Write code to handle errors
  • Write asserts to catch future errors
  • Applying previous skills: git/GitHub and reading files


Perform the following tasks:

  • Create a hw3 folder in your homework monorepo
  • Download the input CSV file (link provided below)
  • Create a Python script with some starter code for reading and writing files
  • Find one issue in the uncleaned .csv file
  • Find the rest of the issues in the uncleaned .csv file
  • Mitigate issues computationally

Create a hw3 folder in your homework monorepo

In your crafting-software-hw-<username> directory (the same repo you used for the last homework), create an empty directory called hw3. Please also include a file in hw3 with the following information:

  • The title of the homework (# Homework 3)
  • Your name and Andrew ID

A .md file is written in the Markdown syntax. Refer to this quick reference to learn more about how to format your README file and any conversations on GitHub.

Note: You can preview a Markdown file in VS Code by control/right-clicking its tab and clicking Preview.

Download the input CSV file

We provided a CSV file with some errors.

Download the file (input.csv) here:

Please put the file in hw3. Throughout this homework, you will identify the problems in this file and fix them computationally in a Python program.

Write some starter code for reading and writing files

Create a Python file called in the hw3 directory. For this step, you only need to implement the following funcionalities:

  • Read the input csv file (input.csv)
  • Write an output csv file (output.csv)
  • When you run the first time, the output file should be exactly the same as the input file.

Identify problems in the uncleaned CSV file

You should identify the problem we have injected into the uncleaned CSV file. We have added two examples of nine types of problems to the file (a total of 18 problems). You should identify them all. Since the file is large, you will be most effective in finding the problems if you search for them programmatically. You might also want to write asserts to help identify problems.

To assist you, here is a full list of problems in input.csv, with a short description of each type of problem. There are 2 instances of each of the problems below:

  • Full state name
  • Invalid state code
  • Extra comma
  • Date out of range
  • Decimal instead of an Integer
  • Add letter added to an Integer
  • NumString in the place of an Integer
  • CharString in an Integer
  • Missing newline

You should paste this list into your and add your findings as you work through this homework. Once you find an instance of a problem type, you should write the input file line numbers where the instance occured under the appropriate category in

Mitigate issues computationally

Modify so it outputs a cleaned csv. You should not repair input.csv by hand. Your program should output as much of the original data as possible, but repair the problems you identified in one of the ways we discussed in class:

  1. Replace garbled data with default values
  2. Use an average of other values in the column
  3. Remove extraneous content
  4. Add missing content
  5. Perform a bespoke/one-off correction. If the input data is irredeemable it is also okay to remove the line.

For each of the problems you identified above, write a very short (e.g. one sentence) justification of the fix to your program. These justifications should explain why the fix you wrote was appropriate for the problem. Write these justifications immediately after each problem in


Tips and Suggestions

  • You might want to combine automated analysis with manual inspection of the input file.
  • Add assert statements to check for correct types (ie what type should state be?)
  • Use print statements
  • The len() function can check the length of a string (e.g. len(“cat”) == 3)
  • The isinstance() function can check the type of an input (e.g. assert isinstance(5, int))
  • You can change the type of variables (e.g. int(“4”) becomes 4)
  • As much as possible, try to avoid hard-coding to catch only the errors in the file we give you. Your code should be able to catch similar errors on other sets of data. For example, do not just say: if row # = 42, don’t include in new CSV. We want you to use logic, so your code can be applied to any different CSV files and catch the incorrect data.

Deadlines and Deliverables

Due Date:

  • Friday Feb 17th at 4:00pm.

You may use up to two (2) late days for each part. To use a late day, simply message us on Slack to let us know that you will be using a late day.

Deliverable: For this assignment, the files that should be included in your repository (in the subdirectory hw3) should be:

  3. input.csv
  4. output.csv

When you are ready to submit, create a new tag called 3.0 (for HW3 final version).

Here’s a quick guide to git tag:

All deliverables should be committed and pushed to the main branch of your repository on GitHub.