Spring 2016 - MBB 505 G200

Problem Based Learning in Bioinformatics (3)

Class Number: 7313

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 5 – Apr 11, 2016: Mon, Wed, 2:30–4:20 p.m.
    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    MBB 741 or equivalent bioinformatics course (undergraduate or graduate).



The problem-based learning course will develop students' ability to exchange ideas in small groups focused on real but simplified problems in bioinformatics. Problems will be carefully selected to cover multiple areas of bioinformatics research. This is an advanced bioinformatics course that assumes the student has previous bioinformatics training. This course is identical to CMPT 505 and students cannot take both courses for credit.


Bioinformatics is loosely defined as the intersection between the fields of molecular biology and computer science. This is an advanced problem-based learning course, suitable for students who wish to learn more about this newly emerging field. Each week a different bioinformatics topic is presented by a different facilitating tutor, covering, for example: genome analysis, sequence similarity searching, evolutionary analysis, protein structure determination, microarray data analysis, etc.

Course Structure:
Each week, the students will be presented with a particular bioinformatics problem designed by the tutor. As a group, they will discuss this problem on the first day, with facilitation from the tutor presenting the problem for that week, to identify learning needs. Students will then research the topic in time for the next class, and perform appropriate computational analyses, if necessary. At the second class of the unit, further discussion and development of a solution will occur. Solution(s) to the problem will be presented at the end of the given week or a short written assignment will be given.


  • Individual and group-based evaluations of participation in discussions and presentations 40%
  • Written assignments 60%


Course Times & Location
Monday and Wednesday, 2:30-4:30 PM
Genome Sciences Centre, 570 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver




Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html