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Bioinformatics (undergraduate)

Available spring 2015, lecture Tuesday and Thursday (9:30-10:50 am), lab Thursday (5-7:50 pm)

Course descriptions (from course catalog): 
BIOL 4306 Bioinformatics (3 hour credit, lecture): Covers principles and methods of analyzing large biological datasets with emphasis on genomes and transcriptomes. This is a practical course in Bioinformatics which will emphasize how to use the computer as a tool for genomic data analysis. Corequisite: BIOL 4106 

BIOL 4106 Bioinformatics Lab (1 hour credit, lab which meets once a week for 3 hours): Analysis of large biological datasets with emphasis on genomes and transcriptomes. This is a practical course in Bioinformatics which will emphasize how to use the computer as a tool for genomic data analysis.

PDF of draft syllabus available for download at the bottom of this page!

Course objectives
Students will learn to:
  • Describe the scope of bioinformatics research and applications
  • Design and implement bioinformatics pipelines to answer pre-defined questions from a variety of biological disciplines
  • Validate results from bioinformatics algorithms using hypothesis testing, correcting for multiple comparisons, etc.
  • Characterize the limitations of data to answer questions of interests
  • Obtain resources to learn new languages and algorithms
Who should take this course?
The primary audiences for this class are students majoring in computer science or biology who have an interest in merging knowledge of these two disciplines. Introductory biology I and II are the only prerequisites. If you have not taken these courses, come see me so we can talk about whether this class is a good fit for you. 

How will the class be organized?
While lecture and lab are separate classes and grades will be assessed independently, the material covered each week in lab will complement the lecture. Topics will integrate computer science and biological knowledge. The first part of the semester will explore general approaches to computational answering biological questions (building pipelines, hypothesis testing, etc). The second part of the semester will delve into particular topics of interest (genome assembly annotation, phylogenetic analysis, etc). Students will gain experience at unix (bash) shell scripting and data manipulation in R, but will not be required to show proficiency at any other particular programming language.

You can check out the nuts-and-bolts development of the course at my Github repo.

Take a look at About bioinformatics and Bioinformatics Skills to get a better idea of what the field entails.
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Kate Hertweck,
Dec 2, 2014, 11:26 AM