Rosalind and Coursera


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Presentation from the October 2012 NBIC (Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre) BioAssist programmer's meeting. There are two main topics: Rosalind, a web site for learning bioinformatics through problem solving, and Coursera, a platform for on-line education from top universities. Finally a few similar projects are mentioned.

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Rosalind and Coursera

  1. 1. Rosalind and CourseraRosalind: learning bioinformatics through problem solvingCoursera: on-line education from top universitiesFriday October 12th 2012BioAssist programmers meetingFreek de Bruijn (NBIC)
  2. 2. Warning• Rosalind and/or Coursera may cause serious fun• NBIC is not responsible for any addictions you acquire...
  3. 3. Rosalind: how I got trapped
  4. 4. Rosalind: short overview• what: – learning bioinformatics through problem solving – real challenges from molecular biology – use your favorite programming language – solutions are checked automatically – name commemorates Rosalind Franklin• when: since July 2012, beta, seems stable• who: team from University of California at San Diego and Saint Petersburg Academic University• where:• warning: short problems with biological background, quick gratification, highly addictive!
  5. 5. Rosalind: quick demo
  6. 6. Rosalind: get ahead of the curve• Early adopters are already busy solving those challenges, so get a piece of the action now!
  7. 7. Coursera: how I got trapped
  8. 8. Coursera: short overview• what: – education technology company – collaboration with 33 universities – many fields like computer science, biology and mathematics – > 1 million students from 196 countries have enrolled – received $16 million of venture capital• when: since April 2012, public beta, seems stable• who: computer scientists Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller• where:• warning: longer courses on lots of subjects, official certificate after completion, highly addictive!
  9. 9. Coursera: a Scala course• Scala is a great new general purpose programming language combining object oriented and functional programming• Scala is designed to express common programming patterns in a concise, elegant, and type-safe way• Scala is statically typed and has type inference• Scala is used by LinkedIn, EDFT, Twitter, Novell, the Guardian, Xebia, Xerox, FourSquare, Sony, Siemens and many others• Martin Odersky is the main designer of the language• He built the current generation of javac, the Java compilerHe is currently teaching a course on functional programming in Scala!
  10. 10. Coursera: quick demo
  11. 11. Similar projects• Project Euler:• Khan Academy:• Codecademy:• Code Jam:• Class Central: overview of courses from Coursera, Udacity and edX warning: one extra day of time per week might not be enough, highly addictive!
  12. 12. Yet another warning• Be careful with these so called “social networks” like Google+, Twitter and Facebook because new addictions can strike at any moment... ;-)