• Length:
    10 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–5 hours per week
  • Price:

    Add a Verified Certificate for $99 USD

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  • Course Type:
    Self-paced on your time


Introductory algebra

About this course

Skip About this course

Are you a biologist, health worker, or medical student who needs to learn how to program? Are you a programmer who wants a better understanding of the medical field? Are you looking for an introduction to MATLAB?

For beginners, Quantitative Methods for Biology takes a unique approach, giving you an inside glimpse of a course and its learners. You'll study alongside students who are also learning to code.

For expert programmers, this course has a will help you learn the MATLAB you need without getting slowed down by introductory concepts that you already know. Whether you're already comfortable with Python, Javascript, r, or some other language, we'll help you translate that knowledge to MATLAB.

All learners will be able to access a copy of MATLAB that they can use during the run of the course, free of charge. There will also be opportunities to put code directly into assignments so that you can test your skills and work on authentic projects.

In addition, this course uses an adaptive approach to its assignments. The more skilled you are, the fewer problems you'll need to complete in order to finish the course. If you're having difficulty, we'll make sure that you get the practice you need in order to succeed.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • The basics of MATLAB
  • How to troubleshoot your code
  • Basic biological and medical applications

This course offers the following modules:

  • Introduction to MATLAB
  • Arrays
  • Images
  • Loops
  • Functions and Scripts
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Arrays, pt 2
  • Special Topics
  • Yeast Showdown
  • Pro Tips
  • References and Tools

Meet your instructors

Michael Springer
Associate Professor of Systems Biology
Harvard University

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Frequently asked questions

Q: Do I need to own a copy of MATLAB to participate?
A: All learners will receive a copy of MATLAB that they can use during the run of the course, free of charge. In addition, this course supports the MATLAB Online browser-based interface to MATLAB.

Q: What platforms does MATLAB run on?
A: MATLAB works on Windows, MacOS, and several Linux distributions. You should check the MATLAB hardware and operating system requirements if you run less common Linux distributions or an older computer. For access via mobile devices, see MATLAB Mobile. For access via web browser, see the MATLAB Online system requirements. Ensure that cookies, pop-ups, and javascript are enabled.