THE BIG-BIOTOOLS EXPERIENCE IN THE COMPUTER SCIENCE DEGREE AT THE UNIVERSITAT JAUME I
1 Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
2 Universitat de Valencia (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Introduction: At The Universitat Jaume I (UJI), the Computer Science Engineering Degree is a ten semester study where, during the ninth and tenth semesters, the students have to develop an academic project based on theoretical contents and technologies practiced in the previous semesters. There is an official list of offered project subjects sent by the teaching staff of project directors. The students apply for developing one of the offered projects. One of the problems is UJI have not Biological, Biomedical and Health Sciences studies. Our group, BioInfoGenomica (BIG) is working in Computing Biomedicine and collaborates with other biomedical groups. Currently, UJI is not available to provide bioinformaticians. However, Dr. Coltell, member of the teaching staff, is offering a suite of academic projects, the BioTools project, based on Bioinformatics matters, as a strategy to initiate our computer science undergraduates in Bioinformatics.
Objectives: Our aim is to describe the experience in introducing computer science undergraduates in Bioinformatics, by means of developing small research projects based on general and bioinformatics technologies, under the frame of the BioTools project suite.
Results: The BioTools project suite is a set of bioinformatics tools designed to support researching in Genomic Epidemiology and Nutrigenomics. Part of tools are grouped in the subset named “XMATRIX BIOTOOLS”, whose aim is to manage, store, analysis and presentation of DNA/RNA sequences using data structures based on sparse character matrix: ALIMATRIX, DISPMATRIX, RMBMATRIX and VISIOMATRIX. Other subset is the Genomelting Signal for analyzing genotyping results in laboratory genotyping instruments.
The ALIMATRIX BioTools was the first academic project developed in the academic year 2005/2006. The student who finished and defended this project was one of authors of this work, Antonio Fabregat, who entered in BIG once obtained his Computer Science Engineering Degree. The GenoMelting Signal Analysis Biotools was the second project presented by Ricardo Gala in the academic year 2006/2007. The GenoMelting Signal Interface Biotools was the next project developed and defended by David Calvo in the same year. Once graduated, both took different professional careers not related with Bioinformatics in view of their own circumstances, but David is keeping contact with us. The DISPMATRIX Biotools has been developed and defended in the past academic year 2007/2008 by Avelino Font. Avelino, despite he is not enrolled in BIG, he keeps the contact with our group and maintains his project. The VISIOMATRIX Biotools and RMBMATRIX Biotools were been recently assigned in the present academic year, 2008/2009, just like other eight academic projects under the BioTools framework.
Conclusions: The BioTools project suite is an academic project offered for Computer Science Engineering Degree at the UJI with the aim to train undergraduates in Bioinformatics. Around fourteen different projects have been offered from 2005, and four of them were successfully defended. One of the graduate students joined our group and two of the rest are keeping contact with us for bioinformatics matters. We think the BioTools experience has been profitable for students, who found an application field totally distinct of the usually offered at the UJI, and they worked in multidisciplinary research teams.
Keywords: genomic epidemiology, nutrigenomics, bioinformatics, biotools project, xmatrix biotools.