Biostatistics & Medical Informatics 576
Computer Sciences 576
Introduction to Bioinformatics (Fall 2014)

General Course Information
Course overview
Syllabus, Readings, Lecture Notes
Homework Assignments
Grading criteria
Image src: Zerbino et al, Science 2012

Course Overview

Advances in biotechnology are revolutionizing the biological sciences making it one of the richest fields in the types of data that are available. Computational methods have played a fundamental role in transforming this data into deeper understanding of biological systems.

Bioinformatics (computational molecular biology) involves developing and applying computational methods for managing and analyzing information about the sequence, structure and function of biological molecules and systems. This introductory course will cover statistical and algorithmic concepts to address common, yet difficult questions that arise while analyzing biological data. Biological data can be categorized based on the levels of information that exist in living cells: DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites, and other small molecules. This course is organized into modules, each section focuses on a particular type of biological data, biological questions that are associated with these data, and the computational approaches to address these questions.

The goals of this course are to provide an understanding of:
  • the types biological data
  • the computational problems that arise while analyzing biological data
  • a set of algorithms that have important applications in computational biology, but which have key applications outside of biology as well.
  • core set of widely used algorithms in computational biology

This course is the first of a two-course series. The second is BMI/CS 776 Advanced Bioinformatics.