The PINC Minor

Program Overview

PINC is designed as a program for biology and chemistry / biochemistry majors, and consists of 15 units of computer science coursework (5 courses spread over 4 semesters) that will allow the students to earn a Minor in Computing Applications.

Course Descriptions

Fall of year 1

I. CSc 306 Computing for Biologists: This course will motivate first time learners. We have designed this course to be a gradual and gentle introduction to computer science.

Spring of year 1

III. CSc 220 Data Structures and Algorithms: This will be the next course as students will learn software development. This course offers core computer science concepts that integrate practical skills students have learned thus far. The two previous course (306) will prepare students to succeed in this course.

Fall of year 2

II. CSc 307 Web and Database for Biologists: We have designed this course to follow CSc 306. This course exposes students to a user-friendly web development (PHP) program and database basics. Students will have the opportunity to practice developing biology relevant web applications.

An example of a web application could be a web site that creates a community and where users can play a game using tick images – the goal is to guess the right species from the tick images taken by the mobile app (made during 306). Another example could be a citizen science web site for various biological or health related research problems. 

Fall and Spring of year 2

IV. A sequence of two Group Research Courses (CSc 690 Special Topics) over one year: The CSc 690 Special Topic Study course (3 units) will combine lectures with an independent research project. In these courses, students will form groups to develop a group research topic. Lectures will be provided to cover all the research topics selected by all the groups. Sample projects will be provided to guide students. CS and Biology faculty will assist the students in designing and implementing the projects.

Example projects include: build an app for a citizen science project, build a program to analyze microscope images, build a program to analyze animal behavior from video, build a program to analyze genetic sequences of a virus.

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What’s special about PINC?

You will learn computer science skills together with other biology / chemistry/ biochemistry majors.

You will learn computer science from computer science professors who are excited to teach non-CS majors.

You will receive mentoring from motivated computer science graduate students.

No prior computer science background needed.

Increase your chances on the job market or to get into graduate school.

You will receive a laptop (as a loan) for the four semesters you will be in the program.

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Want to know more?

If you are interested in learning computer science skills, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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