Blog of Andrés Aravena
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Computing in Molecular Biology 1

18 November 2020

This course is new, different from the previous year.

Things to do:

This course is an introduction to Data Science for students of Molecular Biology. We use the R language to learn the basic tools to handle structured data and extract valuable scientific information from it.


All quizzes and homework should be sent to ( before the deadline to get a grade. Please be careful, otherwise you will get a grade zero.


Here you will find the slides from the classes and other supplementary material. Notice that some things are said but not written, so you better take good notes. We recommend taking notes with pen and paper using the Cornell Method.

On video


By regulation from the Rectory, students need to attend at least 70% of the classes. The attendance book is updated every week and can be seen in Google Sheets.

To be counted as present, you must answer a Quiz during the class time and deliver all homework on time. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Some Online Resources

About R

About RMarkdown

Video Material

About R

About RMarkdown


Required software

For this course we will use the new version of R and Rstudio. These two tools work together. Install R first, then install Rstudio.

These videos may help you

Course Forum

Once you have registered for the forum, you should send all your questions by email to . You can also write your questions, and check for previous messages, on the web page

Welcome survey

Everybody must register to the course forum. To do so you must fill the Welcome survey and register your email address. I recommend that you use a gmail account, such as the email service provided by the university. In any case, use an email address that you check regularly. We will use this forum to send important material.

Online learning

This semester we will carry on the course online. That is an interesting challenge, since it makes some things harder but others simpler. To start, everybody should read this paper:

Searls DB. “Ten simple rules for online learning”. PLoS Computational Biology. 2012;8(9):e1002631. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002631. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Originally published at