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Biologist's Guide to Computing - a work in progress

Binary tree.

The reason there has been a bit of a radio silence on this blog for the past couple of months is that I have been spending most of my spare time working on a booklet about computing.

The booklet is intended for biologists that want to learn more about data analysis. It will provide an introduction to some fundamental aspects of computing required for learning scripting and programming. Furthermore, as well as outlining basic principles of programming it will introduce some best practices for keeping track of work and collaborating on projects.

These days many parts of the biological sciences are become more and more data driven. Technological advancements have led to a huge increase in the generation of biological data. Data analysis is required to extract biological insights from this data. To a large extent the rate limiting factor in generating biological insight is the lack of appropriate data analysis tools.

In these instances computers can be powerful allies. They are ideal for automating repetitive tasks. Furthermore, they can perform calculations and analysis that would be infeasible for the human brain alone.

The purpose of this booklet is not to provide a bundle of useful scripts and regular expressions. Its purpose, is rather, to outline a more productive way of working that will make you a better scientist.

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