Regular Expressions

Regular expressions are essentially a tiny, highly specialized programming language. It is a powerful tool for extracting meaningful information out of unstructured sources. A regular expression is mainly used in pattern matching with strings, or string matching, i.e. “find and replace”-like operations. Using this little language, you specify the rules for the set of possible strings that you want to match; this set might contain English sentences, or e-mail addresses, or TeX commands, or anything you like.

Course Content

In this course the formal language of regular expression will be introduced. Afterwards we will show how the language can be applied to various test cases. We will also discuss the various regular expression dialects and how to implement regular expressions in a programming language like Python.


This course aims at the introduction to regular expression without any prior knowledge about the language.

Some experience with Python can be an advantage.

Duration: 2-6 hours

Tools Introduced

Python Regular Expression
The Python regular expression module is an implementation of regular expression made available from inside of Python. The expression used here are the the Perl dialect, one of the most popular dialects of regular expression.