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Expanding Undergraduate Participation in Computational Biology: Resources and Lessons Learned from a Hands-on Workshop

Author(s): Layla Oesper

Carleton College

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Presentation on computational biology in undergraduate education at the 2019 Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference

Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 05 Jun 2019 doi:10.25334/Q46J13 - cite this


Computational biology is an exciting and ever-widening interdisciplinary field. Expanding the participation of undergraduate students in this field will help to inspire and train the next generation of scientists necessary to support this growing field. However, students at smaller institutions, such as those focused on undergraduate education, may not have access to faculty or even courses related to computational biology at their home institutions. Providing more opportunities for all undergraduate students to be exposed the wide variety of subfields within computational biology will be important for ensuring these students are included in the pipeline of scientists contributing to this field. To this end, we hosted a computational biology workshop that brought together undergraduate students from three different Midwest liberal arts colleges. The goal of the workshop was to provide an introduction to how computer science can be used to help answer important problems in Biology. A diverse set of six faculty members from different institutions each put together a hands-on module as an introduction to a different area that they taught to the students at the workshop. In this talk, I will discuss the lessons learned from this undergraduate computational biology workshop, and the workshop materials that are freely available to the larger computational biology community.

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