The sequencing of the human genome at the start of this century fueled a computational revolution in biology. As a result, modern biology produces as many new algorithms as any other fundamental realm of science.
Once we have sequenced a genome, it may look like an incomprehensible string of the nucleotides A, C, G, and T. Yet hidden in these four letters is a secret language. In this course, we will start understanding this language by using computer programming. What makes this course distinct is that we assume that you have never programmed before.
While learning Python from the ground up, we will write algorithms to determine where a bacterium starts replicating its genome, a problem with applications in genetic engineering. We will also use programming to learn how a cell knows what time of day it is and how the bacterium causing tuberculosis can hide from antibiotics.
The course will be based around the following biological questions, with the algorithmic ideas that we will use to solve them in parentheses:
Where Does DNA Replication Begin? (Algorithmic Warm-up)
Which DNA Patterns Act As Molecular Clocks? (Greedy and Randomized Algorithms)
Some of these topics will require you to complete coding challenges in order to implement bioinformatics algorithms, followed by a comprehension quiz at the end of the topic. Other topics will carry lighter workloads and consist primarily of lecture videos and short quizzes.
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
Heavenly Frazierdropped this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I took this course because I was very interested in the subject and had taken a few crash courses prior. At first glance, I believed it would be a simple course. do reading/videos, complete quizzes, and move on. However, it wasn't and was quite different. The course did not have any work in the actually coursera course
I took this course because I was very interested in the subject and had taken a few crash courses prior. At first glance, I believed it would be a simple course. do reading/videos, complete quizzes, and move on. However, it wasn't and was quite different. The course did not have any work in the actually coursera course but rather in a whole new website. With this website you have to sign up, confirm an email, and then move on which can be a hassle for people like me. After you are done with this sign up process, you then had to read the material. That's great as I love reading the material and it was interesting. But then we had to go work in Python(in ANOTHER website) which I was not familiar with at all. The problems were simple and for a beginner. They had the instruction right there and it told exactly what to do. I dropped the course soon because I found it a bit too much. what does that mean? Going into new websites, going back, signing up, etc seemed like too much hassle for a course I would probably fail. This course has rich material, is great for beginner, and is part of a specialization! if you have the time, is interested in this subject, and have even HEARD of programming, you should be great.