Introduction to Perl


Instructor: Keith Jackson

Time: Tuesday, February 28, 2023 1:30PM-4:00PM CST

Location: Online using Zoom

Prerequisites: Current HPRC account

Researchers are using Perl for various scientific computations, such as biological data analysis (Bioinformatics) and other applications. By using Perl, you can quickly write programs which will run on a variety of computer platforms. If you are familiar with Perl, you can also edit programs written by other researchers or third-party providers.

Perl has powerful text processing and I/O capabilities, which you can easily use with the operators and functions built into the Perl language. You can also take advantage of Perl's numerous library extensions, which implement a wide variety of useful tools.

This class will provide an introduction to the Perl programming language. We will explore the elements of the language through interactive examples.

Course Materials

  • Access Instructions: PDF
  • Slides: PDF
  • GitHub (Jupyter Notebook and additional files)

Materials from Previous Classes

  • Slides: PDF (Fall 2021)
  • Slides: PDF (Fall 2020)
  • Jupyter Notebook (Spring 2020)
  • Jupyter Notebook Instructions for Introduction to Perl (Spring 2019): PDF
  • Installing Jupyter for use with Course Notebook: Link
  • Jupyter Notebook Files (Spring 2019): tar.gz
  • Jupyter Notebook Instructions for Introduction to Perl (Fall 2018): PDF
  • Jupyter Notebook Files (Fall 2018): tar.gz
  • Introduction to Perl (Fall 2017): PDF
  • Jupyter Notebook Files (Fall 2017): tar.gz
  • Intermediate Scripting (Spring 2017): PDF
  • Extended Perl Class (Fall 2016): PDF


This course focuses, among others, on the following topics:

Introduction to Perl

  • What you can use Perl to do
  • Executing your program
  • Finding documentation
  • Statement syntax
  • Variables, constants, expressions
  • Control flow
  • Understanding error messages
  • I/O

Note: During the class sessions many aspects of the material will be illustrated live using the Jupyter notebook web application. Attendees are welcome to follow these parts with their own laptops. They will need to configure their laptops to use the TAMULink wireless network. Relevant details on this can be found at: