Computational science for undergraduate biologists via QUT.Bio.Excel

Buckingham, Lawrence & Hogan, James M. (2014) Computational science for undergraduate biologists via QUT.Bio.Excel. In Abramson, David, Lees, Michael, Krzhizhanovskaya, Valeria, Dongarra, Jack, & Sloot, Peter M.A. (Eds.) Procedia Computer Science, Elsevier, Cairns, QLD, pp. 1403-1412.

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Abstract

Molecular biology is a scientific discipline which has changed fundamentally in character over the past decade to rely on large scale datasets – public and locally generated - and their computational analysis and annotation. Undergraduate education of biologists must increasingly couple this domain context with a data-driven computational scientific method. Yet modern programming and scripting languages and rich computational environments such as R and MATLAB present significant barriers to those with limited exposure to computer science, and may require substantial tutorial assistance over an extended period if progress is to be made. In this paper we report our experience of undergraduate bioinformatics education using the familiar, ubiquitous spreadsheet environment of Microsoft Excel. We describe a configurable extension called QUT.Bio.Excel, a custom ribbon, supporting a rich set of data sources, external tools and interactive processing within the spreadsheet, and a range of problems to demonstrate its utility and success in addressing the needs of students over their studies.

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ID Code: 73076
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: 2014 International Conference on Computational Science
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Molecular Biology, Education, Computational Thinking, HERN, Bioinformatics
DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2014.05.127
ISSN: 1877-0509
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Bioinformatics Software (080301)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Lawrence Buckingham and James M. Hogan
Deposited On: 25 Jun 2014 22:40
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2015 02:11

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