COMPSCI 260: Introduction to Computational Genomics


A computational perspective on the exploration and analysis of genomic and genome-scale information. Provides an integrated introduction to genome biology, algorithm design and analysis, and probabilistic and statistical modeling. Topics include genome sequencing, genome sequence assembly, local and global sequence alignment, sequence database search, gene and motif finding, phylogenetic tree building, and basic gene expression analysis. Methods include dynamic programming, indexing, hidden Markov models, and elementary supervised and unsupervised machine learning. Development of practical experience with handling, analyzing, and visualizing genomic data using the computer language Python.

The course will require students to program often in Python. Students coming in to the course must already know how to program in some computer language, but it need not be Python. If it is not Python, students will be expected to come quickly up to speed in Python on their own. Additionally, students should be comfortable with mathematical thinking and formulas, and should have had some exposure to basic probability as well as molecular or cellular biology; however, the course has no formal course prerequisites, and quick refreshers of relevant background will be provided. Please speak to the instructor if you are unsure about your background. This course is a valid elective in both biology and computer science.


Professor Alex Hartemink

Email: amink at
Office Location: LSRC D239
Office Phone: (919) 660-6514

Brianna Petrone, TA Email: brianna.petrone at
Kyle Pinheiro, TA Email: kyle.pinheiro at
Trung Tran, TA Email: trung.tran at
Abbey List, UTA Email: abbey.list at
Andrew Lee, UTA Email: andrew.j.lee at
Ben Burnette, UTA Email: benjamin.burnette at
Caleb Watson, UTA Email: caleb.watson at
Jared Saquing, UTA Email: jared.james.saquing at
Meredith Brown, UTA Email: meredith.brown at
Michael Williams, UTA Email: michael.williams3 at
Siyun Lee, UTA Email: siyun.lee at

Office hours

Office hours with TAs and UTAs will be held online at the following times (starting on Wednesday 27 January); most days of the week have two sessions available, with the exceptions of Saturday (only one session) and Tuesday (no sessions). Directions for how to access office hours over Zoom will be posted on Piazza. Remember that you will get help quickest by asking your questions on Piazza (in fact, your question may already be answered there).

If you would like to speak with the instructor about anything, you are welcome to stick around after lecture to chat, or you can send an email to schedule a meeting at a time that is convenient for you.


The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:15–11:30AM on Zoom. The Zoom link can be found on the COMPSCI 260 site within Sakai.