'Scripting for Biology' Module - for Students living in Asia


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Dear Readers,

When we announced the earlier module (Scripting for Biology Online Virtual Classroom-based Module), we received a number of requests from Asian countries and sadly could not include them due to the differences with US time zone. This time, we are starting a new module to be held in Asian daytime so that students from Asia can participate.

The objective of this module is to introduce those, who never did programming, to scripting languages like python, PERL and GO.** Classes will start from Oct 23 and take place every Friday at 1 PM Chinese time and or 10:30 AM Indian time. Please email pandora@homolog.us, if you like to join.**

The classes are chat-based and, in parallel, students write their code by logging into cloud accounts provided by us. We monitor the code they are writing and help each of them individually (through private message), if they are stuck. The examples we choose are related to solving biological problems, but they also illustrate various computer science issues (algorithm,, data structure, scaling) at an introductory level. For the current module, we initially allocated 1 hour 15 minutes per class, but the discussions tend to continue for 1.5-2 hours. Therefore, in the new module, we are allocating at least 2 hours for each session.

Using our current experience, we are making changes to the format in how the topics are being taught. In the new format, the topic will be split into eight levels, and students, who are comfortable with one level, can proceed to the next one. That way, if someone misses a class or finds the topic for a day difficult, that student can repeat the same level instead of being forced to proceed to the next level. Everyday there will be eight chat-based classrooms open for eight levels, and each student will join one of those rooms on a day.

We are working on posting all course-related materials online so that the topics being taught at each level become clear. Moreover, students will have access to their chat transcript and cloud account outside class hours so that they can practice in their own time from the posted materials. Based on feedback we received from the current module, students are finding the chat transcripts very useful.

Please email pandora@homolog.us, if you like to join.


Written by M. //

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