10.1. Introduction

Computers are often used to automate repetitive tasks. Repeating identical or similar tasks without making errors is something that computers do well and people do poorly.

Repeated execution of a sequence of statements is called iteration. Because iteration is so common, Python provides several language features to make it easier. We’ve already seen the for statement in a previous chapter. This is a very common form of iteration in Python. In this chapter we are going to look at the while statement — another way to have your program do iteration. While loops are used when we aren’t sure how many times we will have to repeat the execution of the code inside the loop.

10.1.1. Learning Goals

  • To understand indefinite iteration

  • To solve problems involving convergence

10.1.2. Objectives

  • To apply the while loop for indefinite iteration

  • To be able to identify while loops that are likely to be infinite loops

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