Iowa State University

Iowa State University

2009-2011 Courses and Programs

Iowa State University Catalog

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Bioinformatics and Computational Biology - Undergraduate

100 |200 |400 |

www.las.iastate.edu/bcb/

Chair: S. Willson
Supervisory Committee: V. Brendel, K. Dorman, D. Fernandez-Baca, F. Honavar, M. Smiley

Undergraduate study

Undergraduate study in BCBio is jointly administered by the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology, and the Department of Mathematics. The undergraduate B.S. degree is offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is an interdisciplinary science at the interfaces of the biological, informational and computational sciences. The science focuses on a variety of topics. These include gene identification, expression, and evolution; RNA, protein, and genome structure; and molecular and cellular systems and networks. The large group of participating faculty provides students with a multidimensional perspective on bioinformatics and computational biology and presents them with broad range of possibilities to get involved in research.

This major will prepare students for careers at the interfaces of biological, informational and computational sciences. BCBio graduates with a B.S. seeking direct employment will find ready markets for their talents in agricultural and medical biotechnology industries, as well as in academia, national laboratories, and clinics. Although some students find employment directly after their baccalaureate training, many students will continue their education in one of the many excellent graduate programs in bioinformatics and computational biology that now exist.

Participation in this field requires that students achieve a high level of competence not only in biology, but also in mathematics, computer science, and statistics. As a result, the program includes required courses from many different disciplines. Graduates demonstrate an above-average ability to synthesize methods from these different disciplines to solve problems.

In addition to basic degree requirements listed in the Curriculum in Liberal Arts and Sciences ( www.las.iastate.edu/academics/generaleducation/ ), BCBio majors must satisfy the following requirements:

A. Complementary Courses for the BCBio Major (37 cr)

1. Chem (177, 177L, 178) or (201, 201L); 331.

2. Phys 221.

3. Stat 330, 341 and 430.

4. Biol 211, 211L, 212, 212L and 314.

B. Core Courses Within the BCBio Major (48 cr)

1. Gen 313, 313L and 411.

2. Com S 227, 228, 363, and 330 (or Cpr E 310).

3. Math 165, 166, 265 and (307 or 317).

4. BCBio 110, 211, 401, 402.

5. BCBio 490 or 491 (3 cr)

C. Support Electives

3-9 credits to be chosen from the following list:

BCB 495, 539, 542, 548, 549, 550, 551, 593, 594, 596, 597; Phys 222; BBMB 404, 405; Biol 315, 423, 462, 465, 472; Gen 340, 410; Stat 342, 402, 416, 432; Com S and Cpr E courses at the 300 level and above; Math (266 or 267), 304, 314, 385, 471, 481.

D. The communications and English proficiency requirements of the LAS college are met by Engl 150, 250 or 250H, and an additional English writing course chosen from Engl 309 or Engl 314. The lowest grade acceptable in Engl 150, 250 or 250H is C-.

Courses primarily for undergraduate students

BCBio 110. BCBIO Orientation. (1-0) Cr. 0.5. F.First 8 weeks. Orientation to the area of bioinformatics and computational biology. For students considering a major in BCBIO. Specializations and career opportunities. Satisfactory-fail only.

BCBio 211. Introduction to Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. (3-0) Cr. 3. S.Overview of bioinformatics and computational biology. Database searching, sequence alignment, gene prediction, RNA and protein structure prediction, construction of phylogenetic trees, comparative and functional genomics.

BCBio 401. Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology I. (3-0) Cr. 3. F.Prereq: BCBIO 211, Com S 228. Biology as an information science. Generative models for sequences. String algorithms. Sequence alignment. Algorithmic and statistical aspects of database search. Basic methods in molecular phylogeny/phylogenomics. Genome sequence assembly.

BCBio 402. Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology II. (3-0) Cr. 3. S.Prereq: BCBIO 401. Genome annotation. DNA and protein motifs. DNA microarrays. Introduction to gene expression studies. Protein, DNA and RNA structure. Structure representation, comparison and visualization. Biological networks and systems.

BCBio 490. Independent Study. Cr. 1-5. Repeatable. F.S.SS.Prereq: BCBIO 211, junior or senior classification, permission of instructor. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may use no more than 9 credits of BCBIO 490 and 491 toward graduation.

BCBio 491. Team Research Projects.. Cr. 1-5. Repeatable.Prereq: BCBIO 211, junior or senior classification, permission of instructor. Research projects in bioinformatics and computational biology done by teams of students. Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may use no more than 9 credits of BCBIO 490 and 491 toward graduation.