Bioinformatics Algorithms: An Active Learning Approach

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Journey to the frontier of computational biology...

Bioinformatics Algorithms: an Active Learning Approach is one of the first textbooks to emerge from the recent Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) revolution. The bestselling companion to the authors’ acclaimed Bioinformatics Specialization on Coursera, this book presents students with a dynamic, "active learning" approach to learning bioinformatics. Covering fundamental topics in genomics, machine learning, and biological data science, it strikes a unique balance between practical challenges in modern biology and fundamental algorithmic ideas, thus capturing the interest of students of both biology and computer science.

Each chapter begins with a central biological question, such as “Are There Fragile Regions in the Human Genome?” or “Which DNA Patterns Play the Role of Molecular Clocks?” and then steadily develops the algorithmic sophistication required to answer this question. Hundreds of exercises are incorporated directly into the text as soon as they are needed; readers can test their knowledge through automated coding challenges on the Rosalind Bioinformatics Textbook Track.

This website augments the textbook by providing additional educational materials, including video lectures, FAQs delving deeper into each chapter, and PowerPoint slides. An E-book covering the first two chapters of the book can be purchased from Leanpub.

Praise from Bioinformatics Experts

“This lively and unique text on bioinformatics motivates algorithmic thinking with an abundance of up-to-date examples from molecular biology.” — Michael Waterman, University Professor of Biological Sciences, Mathematics, and Computer Science, University of Southern California

“A refreshing, original approach to teaching the foundations of bioinformatics, this textbook builds the reader’s comprehension by combining hands-on exercises with illuminating biological stories and mathematical rigor.” — Ron Shamir, Sackler Chair in Bioinformatics, Computer Science Department, Tel Aviv University

Praise from Our Learners

"[The Bioinformatics Specialization] on Coursera, studied in the unrelenting heat of Vietnam, Cambodia and finally Thailand helped me gain the confidence and knowledge to join a bioinformatics group based on the bank of the Mekong river sequencing and analysing localised tropical disease vectors. Finally back in the UK after almost 3 years I was accepted as a PhD. project student and now spend my days identifying novel cancer drug targets. I can’t imagine a more rewarding or worthwhile subject to work in than bioinformatics and both Prof. Compeau and Prof. Pevzner played a significant part in my discovery and continued work in the field!" — Graeme Benstead-Hume, University of Sussex

"My interaction with Rosalind and Bioinformatics Algorithms were central in my exploration of this field. I learned a lot through both of these resources. Moreover, through the social side of these projects, I continually refined my approach to problems by interacting with other users. I returned to academia and currently I am pursing a master’s degree in Bioinformatics at Boston University. In my case, [these materials] were life changing." — Onur Yörük, Boston University

Bioinformatics Algorithms is nothing less than thrilling. Only my 40 year-old Calculus textbook is so dog-eared and so life transforming." — Robert, Coursera Learner

Adopted by over 65 institutions worldwide since 2015! (And growing ...)