BI-357: Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

Course Information

Course, prefix, number, & title: BI-357 Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

Hours (Class, recitation, Laboratory, studio): 3

Credits: 3

Pre-requisites (if any): BI-201 with a grade of C or better

Course Description in college catalog:

Scientific concepts and computational methods of bioinformatics. Topics include sequence alignments, searching for homologous sequences, building phylogenetic trees and protein modeling. Current applications of computational biology in biotechnology and biochemistry. Use of bioinformatics as a tool for research in various biological fields. 

Academic programs for which this course serves as a requirement or an elective:

QCC/York College Dual/Joint A.S. Degree in Biotechnology


General Education Outcomes: Below is a listing of General Education Outcome(s) that this course supports.

  1. Communicate effectively in various forms

  2. Use analytical reasoning to identify issues or problems and evaluate evidence in order to make informed decisions

  3. Reason quantitatively as required in various fields of interest and in everyday life

  4. Apply information management and digital technology skills useful for academic research and lifelong learning

Course-specific student learning outcomes:

1. Understand and analyze scientific concepts and computational methods of bioinformatics.

2. Learn how bioinformatics is used as a tool for research in various biological fields. 

3. Demonstrate understanding of molecular evolution and use of raw sequence data.

4. Apply appropriate mathematical and statistical skills to the intelligent use of bioinformatics software

5. Communicate effectively through reading, writing, listening and speaking

6. Use information management and technology skills effectively for academic research and lifelong learning

Program-specific outcomes

1. Demonstrate competency in the concepts and methods of the foundation science courses required for transfer to the junior year in Biotechnology at York College.

2. Demonstrate basic laboratory skills and good lab practice necessary for Biotechnology research.

3. Utilize scientific methods to propose and test a working hypothesis.

4. Demonstrate an understanding of ethics in science and responsible conduct of research while analyzing their results and writing lab reports.

5. Work in teams of two to complete an honors project and make a presentation at the end of the class.

6. Exhibit effective oral and written communication skills in in preparing and presenting a well-reasoned, professional quality technical report that compares data/evidence critically to support/refute different points of view on a topic.

Other program outcomes (if applicable).

  1. Integrate knowledge and skills in the program of study

  2. Make ethical judgments while recognizing multiple perspectives, as appropriate in the program of study

  3. Work collaboratively to accomplish learning objectives

Methods by which student learning will be assessed and evaluated; describe the types of methods to be employed; note whether certain methods are required for all sections:

Exams: 5 short answer and critical thinking exams are administered throughout the semester.

Writing assignment: Students are assessed in their ability to read a recently published, scholarly work of scientific literature of their choosing that pertains to the course material. They are graded with a rubric on their ability to understand and summarize the article and think critically about what their next experimental step would be if they were the author.

Presentation: Along with their notes and PowerPoints, students use all of the databases and programs that they learned throughout the semester to analyze and characterize unknown genetic information from the genome of an organism of their choosing. They will then present their results to the class at the end of the semester.

Final Assesment: Students analyze an unknown protein provided by the instructor using the databases and programs learned during the semester. They are not allowed to use their notes or PowerPoints. They will then answer questions such as, which organism makes this specific protein, where is the protein used in the cell, what is the substrate and product for this protein and what is the function of the protein. Students will then have to construct and interpret a phylogenetic tree they construct using the provided sequence.

Academic Integrity policy (department or College):
Academic honesty is expected of all students. Any violation of academic integrity is taken extremely seriously. All assignments and projects must be the original work of the student or teammates. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Any questions regarding academic integrity should be brought to the attention of the instructor. The following is the Queensborough Community College Policy on Academic Integrity: "It is the official policy of the College that all acts or attempted acts that are violations of Academic Integrity be reported to the Office of Student Affairs. At the faculty member's discretion and with the concurrence of the student or students involved, some cases though reported to the Office of Student Affairs may be resolved within the confines of the course and department. The instructor has the authority to adjust the offender's grade as deemed appropriate, including assigning an F to the assignment or exercise or, in more serious cases, an F to the student for the entire course." Read the University's policy on Academic Integrity opens in a new window(PDF).

Any student who feels that he or she may need an accommodation based upon the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services in Science Building, Room S-132, 718-631-6257, to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. You can visit the Office of Accessibility Services website.

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