Volume 8

Volume 8, Number 27

June 14, 2010

12 pages560 K bytes

Interdisciplinary Introductory Course in Bioinformatics

Yana Kortsarts
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013, USA

Robert W. Morris
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013, USA

Janine M. Utell
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013, USA

Abstract: Bioinformatics is a relatively new interdisciplinary field that integrates computer science, mathematics, biology, and information technology to manage, analyze, and understand biological, biochemical and biophysical information. We present our experience in teaching an interdisciplinary course, Introduction to Bioinformatics, which was developed and taught by an interdisciplinary team of computer science and biology faculty. To integrate the “Ethics, Computing, and Genomics” component into the course curriculum, collaboration with an English faculty member was established. The course was designed as an upper-level elective for computer information systems and computer science majors and was open as a science elective for all science majors and for chemical engineering majors. We discuss the course curriculum, and a way to integrate the Python programming language in the UNIX environment will be presented. The integration of bioinformatics algorithms into the course curriculum will be emphasized.

Keywords: bioinformatics, pedagogy, interdisciplinary collaboration, computer science and information systems curriculum, Python, Biopython, ethics, genomics and computing

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Recommended Citation: Kortsarts, Morris, and Utell (2010). Interdisciplinary Introductory Course in Bioinformatics. Information Systems Education Journal, 8 (27). http://isedj.org/8/27/. ISSN: 1545-679X. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of ISECON 2008: §3312. ISSN: 1542-7382.)