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MSc Programme ``Computing Science" 2011-2012

Seminar: Algorithmic Computational Biology (MACB)


Seminar overview

The Life Sciences are an exciting field for computer scientists. The field is heavily reliant on algorithmic models and computational techniques, and is in great need of efficient and highly scalable algorithms e.g. for the analysis and understanding of biological systems. Many problems involve massive data sets and discrete algorithmic questions of great complexity: sequence comparison, alignment of multiple sequences, genome rearrangements, and so on, questions that are being studied by computer scientists everywhere. The long-term goal is to develop realistic simulation models of cells, organisms and the principles of their development. The insights would make it possible to test new hypotheses, new developmental models, and even new drugs by computer simulation. Before that goal is achieved, many fundamental computer science problems must be solved. In this course we will study the typical algorithmic challenges and complexities that must be overcome. The concrete seminar contents will be specified below.

Class schedule


The seminar is part of the MSc program `Computing Science' and is to be taken after you have completed at least several of the regular courses in the program. If you have not, see the MSc-program advisor: you may not be admissable to this seminar yet. (The seminar will be mostly self-contained, but requires a good understanding of basic algorithm design and complexity theory.)
Note. If there is considerable interest for the seminar, students may be grouped in two for the presentations part of the seminar requirement. Due to the seminar format, the total number of participants is limited to 20.


The seminar is based on the book The book is required and should be at your disposal at the start of the seminar, to study the weekly readings from the very beginning. We will treat a selection of chapters from this book. Additional material will be listed in the weekschedule as the seminar develops.

Course Work


The grade depends on the given presentations (50%), summary reports (40%) and active participation (10%).

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Last modified: January 16, 2012