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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Comparing Genes, Proteins, and Genomes (Bioinformatics III) by University of California San Diego

127 ratings

About the Course

Once we have sequenced genomes in the previous course, we would like to compare them to determine how species have evolved and what makes them different. In the first half of the course, we will compare two short biological sequences, such as genes (i.e., short sequences of DNA) or proteins. We will encounter a powerful algorithmic tool called dynamic programming that will help us determine the number of mutations that have separated the two genes/proteins. In the second half of the course, we will "zoom out" to compare entire genomes, where we see large scale mutations called genome rearrangements, seismic events that have heaved around large blocks of DNA over millions of years of evolution. Looking at the human and mouse genomes, we will ask ourselves: just as earthquakes are much more likely to occur along fault lines, are there locations in our genome that are "fragile" and more susceptible to be broken as part of genome rearrangements? We will see how combinatorial algorithms will help us answer this question. Finally, you will learn how to apply popular bioinformatics software tools to solve problems in sequence alignment, including BLAST....

Top reviews


Aug 18, 2016

A very well taught course that gives you the ins and outs of sequence comparision and introduces chromosme rearrangement analysis in a succint manner. This was


Dec 24, 2016

Take your time, this course is harder than the others. Very worth it though, learned a lot and it was a lot of fun!

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1 - 25 of 26 Reviews for Comparing Genes, Proteins, and Genomes (Bioinformatics III)

By Daniel D

Oct 24, 2019

It's simply astounding to see how clearly the authors managed to explain the concepts presented in the course (and in the entire series, for that matter). I always had a hunch that this was an excellent course, but only after reading other bioinformatics materials did it become clear to me how much effort the authors put into making this course the best that it can be.

My only criticism is that the peer reviewed final challenge doesn't work very well because there are not that many participants to do the peer reviews. It took me about 1 week to finish the course, including al programming challenges, and it's been 6 weeks since I am waiting to get my work graded. A better option would be to use an auto-grader.


Apr 9, 2019

Some content in Stepik might be erroneous...

By Christiane A

Aug 6, 2017

for me this was a very intresting courde where I learined a lot about the research behind genetics especially how difficult it is to interprete the experiemntal data. I also like the mathematical background in graph theory.

Not being a boilogist I miss some extra inforamtion about the biological relevance and would like more pratical exemples before doing the final challenge which I found rather diffucult: only after reviewing my peers I really startd to onderstand the challenge.

What I also miss is the community building aspect. Therre is a forum on every page but the comment are usually very old (3 of more years) so you can't expect to have a dialogue anymore. Problems reported years ago are sill open. I also woud like to know how many learners are currently following this course.

By David B

Aug 7, 2022

This is the course in the specialisation where I finally gave up. I wanted to learn about bioinformatics, and apply my (admited limited) programming capability to it. But the coding element is super hard by this point. While earlier modules gave pseudocode and algortimth guides, it feel like by this point the course team couldnt be bothered anymore, and some quite hard extensions to code were tasked with a throw away one liner 'extend your code to find all paths'. This wouldnt be so bad if there was an active community of learners to chat with - but the discsion boards are nearly dead (with some forlorn messages stretching back over 2-4 years 'Is anyone else ON this course?'! Support from the course team is pretty much non existant any more. It feels like they have packed up and gone home.

(And and look out for this gotcha .... with few people on the course, peer grading can take a long time - and you pay a MONTHY subscription!)

Now, all of this is possible with legacy courses, and of itself is the price one pays for internet learning - things go out of date and unsupported - what is not OK is to keep charging people to do the course and provide no support, and not update the materials when problems are reported.

By Ricardo S

Nov 10, 2016

One of the most difficult courses so far, but working hard you made it.

By Yulan W

Oct 2, 2016

this course is easy understandable and interesting for the beginners!

By Robert K

Oct 19, 2017

This was intensive, time-consuming, thought-provoking ... pleasure! I really enjoyed it, it took me more time than the schedule proposed, but it was worth it. I liked exploring things on my own, and tampering with the code/algorithms. This part of the course now assumes that you can think intelligently and will do so. Although this is a course in bioinformatics I often found myself laying on the bed with a piece of paper drawing graphs in order to fully grasp what I need to do so my code would be more efficient.

Excellent work! I'll start the next part now.

By Roy M

May 19, 2022

I am a math and computer science person with no biology background. This course was on Chapters 5 and 6. I loved Chapter 5 because it was all about applications of the shortest path problem. I found the Challenge at the end of the course very hard, because of my weakness in biology. It seemed to really be about Chapter 4, and a very hard problem. But a really great sequence of courses!

By Ayaan H

Aug 19, 2016

A very well taught course that gives you the ins and outs of sequence comparision and introduces chromosme rearrangement analysis in a succint manner. This was

By Tobi F

Dec 25, 2016

Take your time, this course is harder than the others. Very worth it though, learned a lot and it was a lot of fun!

By Hercules P N

Jun 22, 2017

I have taken courses I, II and III. They were consistently excellent. I plan to go for the next one.

By Mario J C

Dec 20, 2021

Excellent course and the methodology used by the instructors is very appropriate. Thanks a lot.

By Tuan N

Aug 21, 2021

Overall it is a nice course. I especially like the way pairwise alignment is explained.

By Paolo B

Nov 30, 2017

This course was harder than the previous one, I am happy to have made it to the end!

By Yasmine E H

Jul 26, 2020

Interesting course but I wish that it took less time to give me my certificate.

By Zack X

Jul 21, 2019

In depth and comprehensive coverage of the topics in genetic data analysis.

By Simon O

May 24, 2018

One of the most challenging courses that I have done.

By Luis F R C

Nov 13, 2017

Very challenging but excellent walk through

By Aditi H

Mar 19, 2023

It was really insightful.

By Weidong X

Sep 17, 2016

a very good course!

By Mohamed T

Jun 19, 2018

Excellent course

By chenhyde628

Dec 13, 2016

Good coursera.

By ­박준형 / 학 / 컴

Sep 12, 2018

Good class

By José M P F

Aug 9, 2016

Muy bueno.

By Yudi,Tian

May 19, 2019

I think I will need some pseudocode in stepik interactive material to complete the code challenge. some part still too confused to me