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Quantitative Biology Workshop

A workshop-style introduction to tools used in biological research. Discover how to analyze data using computational methods.

There is one session available:

20,787 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Jan 18, 2022
Estimated 9 weeks
4–8 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

Skip 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

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English

What you'll learn

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  • 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.

Learner testimonials

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"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

About the instructors

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in 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.

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