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Baby Names


Baby Names: How many babies were born last year with your name? Are a wider variety of names used for boys or for girls? What are the most popular names used for both boys and girls? This session will use data from the US Social Security Administration on baby names from the last several years to answer these questions and more!


Set the Friday setup page and the section on installing projects in the tutorial for informatoin on getting set up.



  • Have fun exploring real data on baby names in the US
  • Practice manipulating and searching strings
  • Practice using dictionaries
  • Practice using numbers and doing simple arithmatic

Ideas for exercises

  1. Search for your own name. Are there both boys and girls that have your name? Is it more popular for one group than for the other?
  2. Are there more boys names or girls names? What about for particular letters? What about for every letter?
  3. What is the longest name in the dataset?
  4. How many boys and girls are described in the dataset (i.e., how many boys and girls born in 2013 have names given to at least four others)?
  5. How many boys names are also girls names? How many girls names are also boys names?
  6. How many names are subsets of other names?
  7. Write a program that will take a name as input and return the number of girls and boys with that name.
  8. What is the most popular girls name that is also a boys name?
  9. Take a prefix as input and print the number of boys and girls with that prefix. (i.e., "m" would list babies whose names start with "m" and "ma" would list babies whose names start with "ma", etc).