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.
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. The CSc 690 Special Topic Study course sequence (6 units) adopts project-based learning approach where real-life, interdisciplinary project topics chosen by the students themselves drive their hands-on and collaborative learning experience. These projects provide a unique opportunity to apply their learnings from the previous courses to a complex problem over an extended period of time (2 semesters). This promotes deeper understanding of the core concepts, better appreciation of the breadth of the field, and longer retention of concepts and skills. Every group project is assigned a dedicated mentor (typically a CS graduate student) who provides technical guidance.
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.