Computational Biology

Computational biology involves the analysis and discovery of biological phenomena using computational tools, and the algorithmic design and analysis of such tools. The field is widely defined and includes foundations in computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, ecology, evolution, anatomy, neuroscience and visualization. The program educates the student liberally in these fields, building on a foundation of coursework that may then focus via several possible tracks. The program offers four tracks: computational genomics, biological sciences, molecular modeling and applied mathematics and statistical genomics. The program requires a senior capstone experience that pairs students and faculty in creative research collaborations. 

Standard program for the Sc.B. degree

Prerequisites
MATH 0100Introductory Calculus, Part II (or equivalent)1
or MATH 0170 Advanced Placement Calculus
BIOL 0200The Foundation of Living Systems (or equivalent)1
General Core Course Requirements
CHEM 0330Equilibrium, Rate, and Structure1
BIOL 0470Genetics (prerequisite BIOL 0200 or equivalent)1
BIOL 0280Introductory Biochemistry1
or BIOL 0500 Cell and Molecular Biology
CSCI 0150Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming and Computer Science (no prerequisite)1
CSCI 0160Introduction to Algorithms and Data Structures (prerequisite CSCI 0150)1
or CSCI 0170 Computer Science: An Integrated Introduction
CSCI 0180Computer Science: An Integrated Introduction (prerequisite CSCI 0170)1
or CSCI 0190 Accelerated Introduction to Computer Science
CSCI 0220Introduction to Discrete Structures and Probability1
APMA 1650Statistical Inference I1
Computational Biology Core Course Requirements
CSCI 1810Computational Molecular Biology (prerequisites: (CSCI 0160, or CSCI 0180, or CSCI 0190) and CSCI 0220)1
APMA 1080Inference in Genomics and Molecuar Biology1
Capstone Experience 11
Directed Research/Independent Study
Individual Independent Study
Six courses in one of the following four tracks:6
Computational Genomics Track: 2
Three of the following:
Introduction to Computer Graphics
Database Management Systems
Applied Artificial Intelligence
Probability and Computing: Randomized Algorithms and Probabilistic Analysis
Design and Analysis of Algorithms
or other Computer Science courses approved by the concentration advisor
Three of the following:
Introduction to Computer Systems
Introduction to Software Engineering
Algorithmic Foundations of Computational Biology
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics, I
Statistical Inference II
The Computational Theory of Molecular Evolution
Biological Sciences track 3
At least four courses comprising a coherent theme in one of the following areas: Biochemistry, Ecology, Evolution, or Neurobiology.
Select two courses from the following:
Algorithmic Foundations of Computational Biology
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics, I
Statistical Inference II
The Computational Theory of Molecular Evolution
Molecular Modeling Track: 4
Computational Tools in Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
At least three courses from the following:
Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Chemical Biology
Biochemistry
Advanced Biochemistry
Principles of Immunology
Physiological Pharmacology
Molecular Genetics
Two courses from the following:
Algorithmic Foundations of Computational Biology
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics, I
Statistical Inference II
The Computational Theory of Molecular Evolution
Applied Mathematics and Statistical Genomics Track: 5
At least three courses from the following:
Statistical Inference II
Computational Probability and Statistics
Applied Artificial Intelligence
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
Methods of Applied Mathematics I, II
At least three of the following:
The Computational Theory of Molecular Evolution
Algorithmic Foundations of Computational Biology
Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics, I
Quantitative Models of Biological Systems
Total Credits19
1

 Students enrolled in the computational biology concentration will complete a research project in their senior year under faculty supervision. The themes of such projects evolve with the field and the technology, but should represent a synthesis of the various specialties of the program. A minimum of one semester of independent study is required, although many students may conduct a full year of independent study.

2

This track is designed for students whose interests lie in the development of algorithms and high-quality software (tools and systems) for biological applications.

3

This track is designed for students whose interests lean more towards biological questions.

4

This track is designed for students who wish to gain competence in the field of molecular modeling and drug design.

5

This track is designed for students whose interest focuses on extracting information from genomic and molecular biology data, and modeling the dynamics of these systems. Substitution of more advanced courses with consent of advisor is permitted.

Honors:

To be a candidate for honors, a student must have a course record judged to be excellent by the concentration advisor and must complete a thesis judged to be outstanding by the faculty member supervising the work.