Course Title: Introduction to Computational Biology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Introduction to Computational Biology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007


City Campus


140H Computer Science & Information Technology


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007

Course Coordinator: Dr Peter Smooker

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7129

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

4337 Intro to Programming or equivalent

Course Description

As the rate of acquisition of biological data increases exponentially, the management, interrogation and manipulation of this data becomes a complex process that requires novel software solutions. These solutions are the driving force behind Computational Biology, lying at the intersection between the biological and IT fields. There is a requirement for methodology to facilitate the acquisition, storage and retrieval of data, the analysis of this data and computationally complex tasks such as the prediction of macromolecular structure. This course will introduce these concepts and demonstrate some of the computational techniques currently available.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The objectives of this course are as follows:

Introduce the aims and uses of computational biology.

Describe the sources of data, in particular from the characterisation of genomes and proteomes.

Describe how biological information is stored and accurately retrieved.

Introduce computational algorithms that can be used for querying and manipulating biological data.

Study some of the practical uses of these algorithms.


Overview of Learning Activities

Students attend a formal program of lectures and computer workshops. There will also be independent learning.

Students are recommended to attend and participate in all scheduled teaching sessions and complete formal items of assessment to achieve satisfactory completion of the course. Formal teaching sessions are available only at the times specified and cannot be repeated. Students are expected to spend an appropriate amount of time out of classes reviewing theoretical and practical material in textbooks, journals and on the Internet, preparing self directed leaning exercises and writing reports.

Oral and written student evaluation of the course will be formally solicited and considered annually by the Program Team in course and program review.

Overview of Learning Resources

There is no textbook formally prescribed for this course. Most of the literature and documentation will be accessible via the internet or made available during classes.

For extra support with study organisation, assignments or learning skills you may wish to contact any of the following:

Learning Skills Unit:
For appointments - ring 9925 4488 or go to Bldg 93, level 3
For drop-in, no appointment needed - go to HUB Bldg 12, level 4

CS&IT Teaching & Learning Advisors:
For appointments go to & click on Jeanette Holkner, Cecily Walker, Kath Lynch or TLA.

Overview of Assessment

This course will be assessed using a combination of practical work and formal written examination.

For standard assessment details, including deadlines, weightings, and hurdle requirements relating to Computer Science and IT courses see: