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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Renaissance Computing

An Initiative for Promoting Student Participation in Computing

Renaissance Computing

Three PIs of the Renaissance Computing project (Etsuko Moriyama, Leen-Kiat Soh, and Stephen Scott) were co-chairs of the 6th Anuual Biotechnology nd Bioinformatics Symposium (BIOT-2009) held at Lincoln, Nebraska, October 9-10, 2009. On October 10, a special session, co-sponsored by the Renaissance Computing project, was held, called "Teaching Computing + Biology". Two talks were presented:

  • Mark Pauley, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Information Science & Technology, "Integrating Bioinformatics into the Life Sciences: A CCLI Project"

  • Leen-Kiat Soh, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Computer Science & Engineering, "The Renaissance Computing Initiative at the University of Nebraska."

Dr. Pauley's talk was about bringing bioinformatics into the life sciences while Dr. Soh's talk was about bringing bioinformatics into computer science courses. There were questions on gender ratio, the use of forensics in bioinformatics courses, administratiev support and lectives for Dr. Pauley's talk; and student recruitment and enrollment as well as goals of introductory CS courses for other disciplines for Dr. Soh's talk. After the talks, an open discussion and surveys ensued. A total of 11 sets of responses were collected on six questions used in our Curriculum Planning workshop held in Fall 2008. Perl programming, exposure to database, data management, data mining, and so forth were among the main issues. Several expressed the need for computational thinking for students in biological sciences; and the importance of concepts such as algorithms, arrays, treed-based thinking, and real-world examples in bioinformatics in designing the renaissance computing courses.

The Renaissance Computing Project is funded by the National Science Founation (NSF).