CSC 277 - Bioinformatics

Centenary College of Louisiana
105 Wright Building Fishbowl Lab
TR 9:45 - 11 - Spring 2009

Instructor: Dr. Mark Goadrich

Contact Info
104 Wright Building
(318) 869-5194

Office Hours
MWF 9-12
or by appointment

Overview | Syllabus | Projects | Exams | Grading

Course Details


An Introduction to Bioinformatics Algorithms
by Neil Jones, Pavel Pevzner, 2004
Find this text on Amazon


This course explores computational methods for analyzing and understanding the large quantities of information now available in the growing fields of genomics, proteomics and systems biology. It complements practical experience of current bioinformatics systems with a deep understanding of their algorithmic underpinnings. Topics include aligning pairwise and multiple sequences, constructing phylogenies, searching strings, modeling motifs, clustering microarray data, inferring regulatory networks, and modeling biological systems.


Centenary assures students with disabilities equal opportunity to reach the same level of achievement as other students. Strict confidentiality will be maintained on students with disabilities. Services for students with disabilities are available through the Counseling Center, located on the ground floor of Rotary Residence Hall, phone (318) 869-5424.

Honor Code

All students are bound by the Honor System. The Honor System is applicable to all academic work. See the Centenary College Handbook for the complete Honor Code. All code you write and turn in for a grade is understood to be pledged. You may discuss topics with other students and tutors, but all code you write must be your own, and you must be able to explain to me how it works. In this course, it is a violation of the honor code to look at code from previous semesters or in other students' directories.


Extensions and rescheduling for labs, projects, exams and quizzes are only given when circumstances beyond your control (e.g. being sick, choir or sports travel) prevent you from completing a project on time. You must notify me either by email or phone of your circumstances well in advance of the due date. No extensions are given for requests made within three days of the due date.

Quizzes and Participation

You are encouraged to attend class and participate in discussions every day. Sporadically throughout the semester, there will be short quizzes covering material from the previous class. These quizzes will serve as records of your attendance, and in total they will comprise 5% of your final grade. Active participation in class discussions will comprise another 5% of your final grade. This will be awarded for answering questions, asking questions, presenting material, etc.

Extra Credit

Extra credit for this course can be earned by participating in the Centenary Math Problem of the Week (POTW). Each reasonable submission will be worth an additional 0.5% toward your final grade, CC me with your submission for credit. A maximum of 7% extra credit can be applied to your final grade.


We will follow the textbook for most of the course. We will also be using additional supplemental material such as relevant web-pages and background material for the lab assignments. Readings will be assigned before material will be covered in class. You are expected to review the material and come to class prepared. As readings are assigned, they will be posted here.


You will have seven projects in this course, one about every 2 weeks, for a total of 50% of your final grade. These projects will cover concepts we have discussed in class and will be due approximately one week after they are assigned.

You must work individually on these projects. You may discuss concepts and ideas with your classmates, but the code you turn in must be your own. You will be graded not only on correctness, but also technique, documentation and evaluation of your solution. Further details on the grading standards and handin instructions for each project will be given when they are assigned.


There will be two exams, each worth 20% of your final grade.


Your final grade for this course will be based on the Labs, Projects, Quizzes, Exams and Participation described above.
Grading Scale
Exam 120%
Exam 220%

© Mark Goadrich, Centenary College of Louisiana