• Length:
    8 Weeks
  • Effort:
    4–8 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
    Add a Verified Certificate for $99 USD

  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Intermediate
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

7.00x Introduction to Biology or similar (biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics). Programming experience is not required. An introduction to MATLAB, Python, and R is included.

About this course

Do you have an interest in biology and quantitative tools? Do you know computational methods but do not realize how they apply to biological problems? Do you know biology but do not understand how scientists really analyze complicated data? 7.QBWx: Quantitative Biology Workshop is designed to give learners exposure to the application of quantitative tools to analyze biological data at an introductory level. The Biology Department of MIT has run this workshop-style course as part of a one-week outreach program for students from other universities. With 7.QBWx, we can give more learners from around the world the chance to discover quantitative biology. We hope that this series of workshops encourages learners to explore new interests and take more biology and computational courses.

We expect that learners from 7.00x Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life or an equivalent course can complete this workshop-based course without a background in programming. The course content will introduce programming languages but will not teach any one language in a comprehensive manner. The content of each week varies. We want learners to have an introduction to multiple languages and tools to find a topic that they would want to explore more. We recommend that learners try to complete each week to find what interests them the most.

This workshop includes activities on the following biological topics: population biology, biochemical equilibrium and kinetics, molecular modeling of enzymes, visual neuroscience, global and single-cell gene expression, development, and genomics. The tools and programming languages include MATLAB, PyMOL, Python, and R. This course does not require learners to download MATLAB. All MATLAB activities run and are graded within the edX platform. We do recommend that participants download a few other free tools for the activities so that they learn how to use the same tools and programs that scientists use.

Workshop Content Creators and Residential Leaders

Gregory Hale, Michael Goard, Ben Stinson, Kunle Demuren, Sara Gosline, Glenna Foight, Leyla Isik, Samir El-Boustani, Gerald Pho, and Rajeev Rikhye

Residential Outreach Workshop Organizer and Creator

Mandana Sassanfar

What you'll learn

  • Apply quantitative methods to biological problems
  • Define computational vocabulary
  • Write Python, MATLAB, and R code to analyze biological data
  • Examine any protein structure in PyMOL
  • Analyze how to answer a scientific question through a step-by-step thought process.

Meet your instructors

Eric S. Lander
Founding Director of the Broad Institute; Professor of Biology
MIT
Jeff Gore
Latham Career Development Assistant Professor of Physics
MIT
Paul Blainey
Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering
MIT
Ernest Fraenkel
Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering
MIT
Mary Ellen Wiltrout
MITx Digital Learning Scientist, Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nathaniel Schafheimer
MITx Digital Learning Fellow, Department of Biology
MIT

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Learner testimonials

"Great course from MIT that lets you play with programming and actual data used in research. You get to use different research programs such as R and Python to complete assignments. Interesting to see how data is crunched in the real world. Would recommend this course." -Coursetalk review

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners from one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. EdX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.