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BIOL L504 Fall 2013

Genome Biology for Physical Scientists

BIOL L504 Fall 2013

Time & Location:    Tues, Thur 9:30a - 10:45a (Credits: 3.0); Myers Hall (MY) 209
Instructors:    Volker Brendel (205C Simon Hall; Tel.: 855-7074); Chun-Yuan Huang (Brendel group)
Email:     VB,; CH,
Office Hours:     Tues, Thur after class and by appointment.
Grades:    will be determined as described below.

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Biology has become increasingly data-driven, with many research areas producing large-scale data sets for analysis. Much of this research is related to detailed information of the underlying genomic particulars of the contributing species and individuals. Research teams are often interdisciplinary and involve scientists originally trained in non-biological disciplines. This course will provide genome biology background knowledge for students in non-biological sciences to assist their potential entry into genome science research areas.


This class is directed at graduate students in the physical, mathematical, and computational sciences. There are no formal prerequisites for the course, although familiarity with the scientific process will be assumed. IU is committed to Creating a Positive Environment for teaching and learning. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please let the instructor know.


The class material will be organized into six topics (chapters), each occupying four class periods over a two-week section. For each topic, the first class period will be devoted to a lecture-based introduction to the topic. Relevant reading material will be assigned as homework. The second period will begin with an ungraded comprehension quiz concerning the reading material and then go into a discussion of the reading material. The third period will be devoted to student-led reviews of selected relevant scientific papers. The forth period will consist of a written test (quiz). Each quiz will count 20 points towards the grade in the class.


Grades will be based on a 100-point scale, derived as the total of the five best scores from the six quizzes and a written final (which will also count 20 points). Absences during quizzes or the final will be counted as zeros (and presumably discarded in calculating the final score).

Text book

No textbook will be required, although there are many books covering the topics to be discussed. Relevant literature will be distributed as PDFs.