From Computational Biology Group

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Teaching statement: Giving seminars and courses related to computational biology is a prime objective of the Computational Biology Group. Our aim is to provide biology students at all academic levels with knowledge about basic concepts of computational and quantitative biology. We believe that – at a time where high-throughput genomic technologies are entering more and more into biological and bio-medical research – it is a prerequisite for all students of biology to be exposed to basic tools of large-scale data analysis. Similarly, quantitative assays and imaging allow for mathematical modeling of biological systems in space and time that produces testable hypotheses. Since formal (mathematical and computational) education receives comparatively less emphasis (and interest) in the classical life sciences, educating students in these fields is a major challenge. In our experience a significant number of biology students are uncomfortable in using mathematics, which may be rooted already in their high school education or even before. The frontal courses offered to biology students may help brushing up basic mathematical skills of some students, but are less likely to be effective for many students who have long lost their interest and self-confidence in solving mathematical problems. We thus attempt to provide also alternative approaches, like our annual hands-on UNIL BSc course: "Solving Biological Problems that require Math" that is directed at undergraduate students (see Concept).