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Workshop on Education in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology WEBCB 2009 7 Sep 2009. Discussion Session Bruno Gaeta, Shoba Ranganathan Tan Tin Wee, Kwoh Chee Keong. Discussion Point 1: The Substrate. Bioinformatics for Biologists

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workshop on education in bioinformatics and computational biology webcb 2009 7 sep 2009

Workshop on Education in Bioinformatics and Computational BiologyWEBCB 20097 Sep 2009

Discussion Session

Bruno Gaeta, Shoba Ranganathan

Tan Tin Wee, Kwoh Chee Keong

discussion point 1 the substrate
Discussion Point 1: The Substrate
  • Bioinformatics for Biologists
    • Beyond bioinformatics appreciation – glorified ppt/word/google users;
    • Beyond cut-and-paste bioinformaticians
    • Able to think computationally and informatically at an adequate level of abstraction to solve biological problems – minimally understand how to read a paper containing bioinformatics procedures.
  • Bioinformatics for others
    • Bioinformatics algorithmers
    • Bioinformatics programmers
discussion point 2 the product
Discussion Point 2: The Product
  • Successful Application Users – Tool Users
  • Tool Developers
  • Independent PhD Researchers in Life Sciences
  • Basic level of bioinformatics competencies dynamically defined at a level which is challenging enough to serve biological research well into the future.
discussion point 3 which level
Discussion Point 3: Which Level?
  • In Schools? Polytechnic?
    • Thinking bio logically vs computationally?
    • By analogy; descriptive; inductive reasoning; patterns, reductionistic vs by deductive reasoning, building up from first principles; abstraction, algorithmic thinking
  • Undergraduate Courses:
    • Major
    • Minor
    • Appreciation
    • Cross Teaching bio-background vs computing-bkgrd
  • Masters Courses: basic couirsework requirements plus electives; projects with basic minimum standards
    • Bioinformatics Technicians
  • PhD Programmes by research, in-depth science
  • Benchmarking to different levels
discussion point 4 guide for educators
Discussion Point 4: Guide for Educators
  • Educational Philosophies for Bioinformatics
    • Transferrable skills
  • Curriculum and Syllabus at each level
    • Techniques come and go and come back again
    • Rapidly changing landscape – anticipating the future
    • Basic transferrable skills – thinking, basic mathematical, statistical, computational, algorithmic
  • Minimum Skillsets for UG Bioinformatics
    • Skills for Majors
    • Skills for Minors
  • Minimum Bioinformatics Skills for Life Science Undergraduates
    • Bioinformatics Appreciation
    • Minor in bioinformatics - Power Users for Honours project
  • Minimum Qualifications for “trained” bioinformaticians
discussion point 5 course organisers
Discussion Point 5: Course Organisers
  • Well Trained Lecturers and Instructors
  • Material – audio video software material
  • Resources – computational and databases
    • Bioinformatics Core Facilities
  • Textbooks for theory
  • Practical Courses
  • Accreditation and Benchmarking
discussion point 6 students
Discussion Point 6: Students
  • Bioinformatics-related careers:
  • Industry Visits and industry career prospects
  • Higher Degree and academic career
concluding remarks of webcb
Concluding Remarks of WEBCB
  • “Bioinformatics is Dead; Viva la Bioinformatique” – Lincoln Stein (2002)
  • Bioinformatics Beyond 2012?
    • It will become part and parcel of the system.
  • New Directions for the Bioinformatics?
    • Short term 5 -10 yrs – one of the many - the Personal Genomics challenge; environmental bioinformatics for sustainable management of our natural resources
    • Synthesis or separation between bioinformatics and computational biology? The technologists-technicians vs the Scientists?
    • Long term - the New Biology revolution which is “old” – biology as an informational science.
    • “What is Life?” Schrodinger (1944)