M.Sc. Coursework

My Master of Science in Bioinformatics was "by dissertation only". Most students starting research in bioinformatics and computational biology come from biology backgrounds and do two semesters of training courses to improve their programming. I was different, coming from a strong computer science background, and there was little by way of biology background courses for me. Fortunately biology papers are easy enough to read once you have the vocabulary, and these courses exposed me to bioinformatics methods: 

Stanford course in computational molecular biology 

From April to June 2006 I completed the 3-month course entitled Representations and Algorithms for Computational Molecular Biology, taught at Stanford University by Professor Russ Altman. I took the course remotely through the Stanford Center for Professional Development, by watching streaming lectures in the evening and submitting my assignments and questions to the tutors via email. The practical projects included:
  • Smith-Waterman sequence alignment
  • K-Means clustering and K-nearest neighbour algorithms
  • Molecular dynamics simulation of a protein
  • Bayesian classifier that learns the features of calcium binding sites. 

Short Courses

The NBN short course on molecular evolution and gene duplication short was taught at UWC by Prof. Ken Wolfe in 2006. 

In October 2005, I participated in the following short courses from SSABMI programme: HIV bioinformatics; Biomedical statistics; Developing ontologies 

In September 2006, I tutored the SSABMI short course on Database Design and Database Mining, taught by Amar Das 

In December 2007, I participated in the course on Intermediate Statistics for Biomedical Research taught at the University of the Western Cape by Prof. Michael Walker of Stanford University.