The goal of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Course in Programming for Biology is to provide biologists with the knowledge and tools they need to deal with the genomic information explosion. Complementary to training in end-user tools such as BLAST, this course teaches researchers how to take charge of their data, analyze it, manage it and display it by creating programs, databases, and other software systems. Beginning with an intensive review of basic procedural Perl programming, this 14 day course will teach object-oriented Perl and its use in the implementation of complex analysis pipelines using practical software engineering and scientific computing methods. The course combines formal lectures with hands-on laboratories in which students solve a series of computational problem sets drawn from common scenarios in biology research and data management. Students also pose problems using their own data and work together in groups and with faculty to solve them.
Computer programming is now an indispensable part of biology research. The Programming for Biology course was designed to give biologists the expanded bioinformatics skills necessary to analyze their increased volume of data in order to pursue their research.