CSC8317 : Introductory Programming for Biologists
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Jennifer Warrender
- Owning School: Computing
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||10|
To introduce the concept of computer programming.
To explain what is meant by an algorithm.
To teach students how to devise algorithms and approaches to tackle biological problems.
To provide a grounding in program design and implementation, programming environments and introduce practical exercises in writing bioinformatics software using a specific programming language.
The ability to write computer programs is a skill that is essential for working in fields that lie at the interface between computing and biology. An understanding of how to program is also a skill that is becoming increasingly useful for biologists as biology becomes more of a data-rich science. This module places an emphasis on clear design and development of programs, teaching how to break problems down to provide simpler and easier to use solutions; biological examples are used where-ever possible. You will apply your skills at a practical level with a commonly used bioinformatics programming language. The basic skills learnt here can be applied to any programming language.
Outline Of Syllabus
What is programming?
The building blocks and structure of computer programs.
Tackling a biological problem.
Algorithms and some examples.
Introduction to a programming language for bioinformatics.
Methods and data structures for nucleotide and protein sequence handling and analysis.
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||24||1:00||24:00||Lectures|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||28||0:30||14:00||Revision for end of Semester exam & exam duration|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||12||1:00||12:00||Coursework|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||24||1:00||24:00||Lecture follow-up|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||12||1:00||12:00||Practicals|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||14||1:00||14:00||Background reading|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.
This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.
Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.
Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Written Examination||90||1||A||30||Open book exam|
|Practical/lab report||1||M||70||Programmatic code. (20 hours)|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The examination will assess the students’ understanding of program and algorithm design, basic programming concepts and the use of an object oriented language. The coursework will assess the students’ ability to use this understanding in a practical setting.
Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that shown in the MOF.
N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 40%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 40%.