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Back to Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners by University of California San Diego

4.3
stars
1,206 ratings
366 reviews

About the Course

Are you interested in learning how to program (in Python) within a scientific setting? This course will cover algorithms for solving various biological problems along with a handful of programming challenges helping you implement these algorithms in Python. It offers a gently-paced introduction to our Bioinformatics Specialization (https://www.coursera.org/specializations/bioinformatics), preparing learners to take the first course in the Specialization, "Finding Hidden Messages in DNA" (https://www.coursera.org/learn/dna-analysis). Each of the four weeks in the course will consist of two required components. First, an interactive textbook provides Python programming challenges that arise from real biological problems. If you haven't programmed in Python before, not to worry! We provide "Just-in-Time" exercises from the Codecademy Python track (https://www.codecademy.com/learn/python). And each page in our interactive textbook has its own discussion forum, where you can interact with other learners. Second, each week will culminate in a summary quiz. Lecture videos are also provided that accompany the material, but these videos are optional....

Top reviews

DL
Apr 17, 2016

I give this course 5 star because I did Bioinformatics I and I totally enjoy it.\n\nThis is where programming can be fun, and practical, and you'll learn some basic biology too.\n\nWhat's not to love?

MZ
Apr 14, 2020

A very good course for those who has some (at least a little) experience in programmimg! I really loved it, it was challenging sometimes, especially in the end, but I did it and learned a lot.

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176 - 200 of 363 Reviews for Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners

By Ashitha K S

May 6, 2020

Awesome course ..

By Amy

Nov 1, 2017

very useful class!

By Sophiezz

Jul 12, 2021

Excellent course!

By Dhiraj S

Jun 11, 2020

It was excellent

By Achala S K

Feb 8, 2019

it was enjoyable

By Igor O

Dec 29, 2018

Great course.

By Twesigomwe D

Mar 5, 2018

So remarkable

By Yan T H

Jun 10, 2017

Nice course

By yeet

Mar 29, 2016

Awesome!

By Rohak S

May 12, 2021

Amaz0ng

By Prathipati P

Sep 26, 2020

Awesome

By Ibrahim H E E

Mar 11, 2021

nicee

By Shunkai X

Dec 12, 2016

Funny

By Roberto R

Oct 20, 2016

cool

By DNA-AND-NAD

Jul 9, 2016

很好

By Markella M

Jul 19, 2019

When it comes to the subject and the learning outcomes, I would rate 5/5. However the methods and the exercises would rate quite lower. Often it's really hard to understand what is wrong with your submissions and the hints given are minimal, so it's not uncommon to be stuck in an exercise for hours not knowing what you're doing wrong. It might be an entry level course but the material is quite demanding if you don't have a programming background. It was the second time I attempted it, the first one was a couple of years ago and I gave up after the first week. This is why I would say that the time required for the completion of this course is wildly understated. Other than that, as a biology graduate I found the skills learned during this course precious. I got hold of some basic Python commands, learned how to implement them to answer questions of biological nature and started thinking a little bit like a programmer. If you have the time and the patience, I would recommend this course.

By Filipe M d M

Dec 30, 2019

It's a great course, but as some people pointed out, it's not the most friendly towards beginners. Ate the end of the fourth week the course tells how to install python and to download pycharm. In my opinion these should have been done on the first week. A good tool for code editing make things so much easier that the student can focus more on the code and on the subject matter than trying to find where the got their code wrong. I read a lot of comments in the comment section of people not knowing what they got wrong only to find out that a piece of code was wrongly indented or that they were missing a colon.

Nevertheless, this couser taught me a lot of interesting stuffs. The way we slowly build our methods, solving problems in small steps, and actualy being able to see it being applied to real Dna string like the E_coli genome and the DosR. I thorougly enjoyed this course i'll certainly be back for the specialized ones.

By Ellen G

Aug 1, 2017

This was an extremely challenging and time-consuming course for me, a non-programmer, non-biologist health care IT professional. My only negative criticism is that for absolute beginners, the estimated time for most exercises is very very very low. Exercises that were estimated at 39 minutes sometimes took me 8 hours of actual labor.

However! Our course instructor, Niema Moshiri was wonderful - very responsive, very patient, and excellent at coaching students without giving away the answers. I learned to read the assignment, then go directly to the comments, reading all of them, and taking especial note of the "instructor replied" answers. I had a good correspondence with a learner for a while - really helped morale and let me feel connected to the community.

And wow! did I learn a lot about the necessity for computational techniques in bioinformatics, and loads about Python programming!

By nikhil k

Jul 17, 2017

Finally at the end of completing a really tough course.. especially for a non programmer and non statistician .But the point is if i can do so can you..!! At times the course really gets tough and at certain times you can breeze through .! it takes tremendous time and patience to get through it.. The staff especially Mr Neima Moshiri is really helpful. My suggestion for those who want to get through with the course should atleast have some knowledge of python and statistics . Data structures and algorithms.. i had to find my way around quite a lot..!! Just a note while trying to learn python i finished completing codeacademy and sololearn python certification just to finish this course...and stiff feel like a noob in python.. !!!

By Simon C

Jan 5, 2019

I came to this course with a decent computer science background (some undergrad courses) and basically no biology knowledge (grade 10 general science twenty-some years ago). I found this course to be really easy and pretty fun. I'm still quite confused about the biology concepts, but that didn't make it hard to write the code or implement the algorithms. I'm definitely continuing with the following courses. I only watched the first of the videos. It was ok, but I found the interactive text easier better. The only reason I'd watch the videos is to learn the pronunciation of the biology terms, but the prof has a really heavy accent.

By Aditya P

May 10, 2019

There was some really interesting information covered in this course. However, the programming assignments and explanations seemed unpolished, there were lots of typos or explanations that were simply unclear and confusing, and the randomized algorithm section made it unclear whether I was getting the coding exercises wrong due to a mistake in my coding or whether it was due to the random nature of the algorithm. Having us use a random seed for these algorithms would have cleared things up. Overall, OK introduction to the specialization, but I'm hoping the courses in the specialization will be better prepared.

By jared n m

Apr 16, 2020

The course is organized well. The lectures are fantastic. One improvement seriously needed is the grading system. One quiz question asked to normalize probabilities, but it does not specify to what decimal accuracy that we should give the answer. First I gave the answer without rounding. I got "Wrong". Next time I rounded it to two decimal places and I was marked "Right". Why is two decimal places good and the other bad? At least state it in the question please! Such a great course, but suck silly weaknesses makes it look bad, so I hope you take this seriously and correct. Thanks

By Irina U

Mar 14, 2019

it was challenging, but interesting with very exciting code challenges! however, i really wish the theory was explained in a more visual manner. i believe that would increase the understanding of the concepts described there, because as for me, i don't yet feel confident with the theoretical basics of the course. though i got much more confident with python programming - practical part was much easier for me.

anyway, i'm VERY GRATEFUL to the creators of the course for providing me with this awesome opportunity to familiarize myself with Bioinformatics.

By Ramesh S

Jun 4, 2017

Very interesting introduction to two topics at once- genomics and Python programming, resulting in a perfect storm for me! But I thoroughly enjoyed the way the concepts were presented, explained, and then examined in some detail. Perhaps the course stopped too early- just when I was able to build up some momentum. That said, some of the details (especially in the programming exercises) were of uneven difficulty: cleaning up the examples and smoothing the exercises would go a long way to make this course even better.

By ShNayak

Jan 16, 2017

The stepik interactive text was just amazing !! I think it is a great way to teach. Integrating with Code Academy to learn Python was really helpful. I spent quite a bit of time on a few challenges. However, arriving at the solution was very rewarding. As a biologist, it is a good start for first time exposure to bioinformatics and algorithms. There were some concepts I had to read multiple times to understand. Some detailed explanations by earlier students were helpful in a few cases.