Python 4: Functions

Learning Goals:


By the end of this lesson you should be able to:

1.     Create and use your own functions.

2.     Send data (parameters) to functions. 

3.     Explain what happens when a function calls itself




Functions allows the programmer to create useful blocks of code that can be called from any point in the program.   There are many advantages to using functions:


·        Compact code- Rather than writing the same code over and over again you can put it in a function and call it.

·        Reusability – If you have a function in one program you can copy and paste it into other programs. 

·        Testing- Large programs are hard to get right.  It is much easier to debug a program that is written as a series of functions that can be individually tested.





#Prints an address on the screen


def printAddress():

    print('Tony Demelo')

    print('34 Blue Tree Drive')

    print('Kirkland Lake, ON')

    print('P2N 1F8')




#Return the max of two numbers


def max(a,b):








#Prints the sum of the integers between two numbers.


def sum(a,b):










#Prints the sum of the integers between two numbers recursively.


def sum(a,b):










Save each program in you unit 1 folder as a text document called A4Px where x is the program number.  Then copy and paste it into the python interpreter.   Use the # symbol in include your name and the program code at the top of your script.


Ex:  #Tony Demello A4P1


Program 1 – Count ‘em Up

Write a function called ‘countEmUp’ that takes two integers n1 and n2 as parameters and prints all of the integers from n1 to n2.

Bonus: Set up the function so that it returns a string representation of the sequence.


Test your function like this:  countEmUp (2,10)


Program 2- Min of 3

Write a function called ‘min3’ that accepts 3 integers and returns the smallest value.


Test your function like this: print(‘The smallest number is’, min3(5,15,2))


Program 3- Factorial

The factorial of an integer, n, is the product of all of the integers between 1 and n.  


The factorial of 5=5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1


Write a function called ‘fact’ that takes and integer, n, and uses a loop to calculate the factorial of n.


Test your program like this print( fact(5))



Program 4- Factorial Recursive Style

Write a function called ‘factR’ that takes an integer n, and calculates the factorial of n recursively.


Test your program like this print( factR(5))



Show Mr.Kurz all 4 programs when you are finished.


Next up: Learning to program the GPIO