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Steven Frank profile image
Steven Frank profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 59 reviews
  • 57 completed
3 years, 4 months ago
This course begins a six-part series on bioinformatics algorithms that works its way through the excellent textbook written by Professors Pevzner and Compeau. In this first installment, you explore what mos... This course begins a six-part series on bioinformatics algorithms that works its way through the excellent textbook written by Professors Pevzner and Compeau. In this first installment, you explore what most people probably think of as bioinformatics: sleuthing through DNA to find patterns and "hidden messages" -- that is, functional areas that direct gene expression or otherwise affect what DNA does and how it does it. How you find such regions without knowing in advance what you're looking for is what this class is all about, and it involves algorithmic and statistical analysis. If you've taken a course on algorithm design (the Stanford MOOC is fabulous), here's where you get to apply those techniques to the life-science domain. The course offers two tracks: a "biologist" track for the computer tenderfoot and a "hacker" track for more experienced programmers. Although it's certainly possible to get a lot out of this course without programming, the heart and soul of bioinformatics is training your computer to do amazing things with biological data. The course is exceptionally well organized and well staffed. Each week's unit has a series of lessons presented in an interactive version of the professors' eminently readable and often entertaining textbook. The lessons contain programming tasks that implement various concepts introduced in the text, as well as a quiz that nicely tests your knowledge at a higher level. Some of those programming tasks are pretty challenging. Those on the biologist track undertake an extensive series of non-programming exercises instead. There are also short lectures which, while useful and entertaining, aren't actually necessary for success; the interactive text is so understandable and complete that it has all you really need. This course has enjoyed well-deserved acclaim and is the definitive MOOC for those interested in bioinformatics.
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10/10 starsCompleted
  • 9 reviews
  • 9 completed
3 years, 1 month ago
I had no experience in bioinformatics prior to this class, and I have to say...after going through a year of bioinformatics classes at my university after taking this class, this course definitely put me ahe... I had no experience in bioinformatics prior to this class, and I have to say...after going through a year of bioinformatics classes at my university after taking this class, this course definitely put me ahead of the game. You do need to know how to program prior to taking this course, but this really nails down the material hard. It's not very much lecture-based. In fact, you are pretty much using an interactive text book. You will read most of the material yourself, but code exercises are embedded throughout the readings. The code exercises are what really make this course fantastic. The exercises are challenging and really reinforce what you learn.
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