Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) have become a hot jargon in higher education just recently. This course is open – anybody can enroll and take part in the course; and is online – be done by using internet media (we study the course materials and complete the assignment that are available on-line [ppts and videos]). The “Corsera” is one of the major MOOC provider.
For you who are interested in studying DNA sequences and how to analyze them, there is one MOOC course suitable for you. The course is “Computational Molecular Evolution.” According to the announcement, this MOOC course is conducted by Prof. Anders Gorm Pedersen of Technical University of Denmark.
“The main goal of this course is to give an introduction to theory and algorithms in the field of computational molecular evolution. We will cover basic evolutionary theory (common descent, natural selection, genetic drift, models of growth and selection), and the main types of algorithms used for constructing and analyzing phylogenetic trees (parsimony, distance based methods, maximum likelihood methods, and Bayesian inference). We will also discuss the role of statistical modeling in science more generally,” according to the course overview document. The course will run for six weeks, starting June 24, 2013. However, since the first assignment will be due on July 8, you can register this class up to that date and still do OK (this is my opinion!).
In my opinion, joining this course will definitely increase your competence in computational of DNA analysis. Since the course is free of charge, there is no negative impact on your budget if you want to participate. However, if you want to get certificate of accomplishment, you need to do some activities and fulfill some requirements set by the organizer. I would suggest you pick this choice, though. If you do not want the certificate, then you can join and participate in any part you like.
Interested in joining the “Computational Molecular Evolution?” Follow the link here. If you are staffs or graduate students of IPB, and you are joining the “Computational Molecular Evolution,” let me know so that we can set up a group discussion about the course, the content, and the assignment. I am also registering this classes just to have the ideas what are the contents of this class. Who know, I may learn something from the class that I can transfer to my graduate students. Wish me luck…!
For participants from Bogor – lets have a discussion forum on-line or off-line. Please inform me by sending your contact info in the comment section below.