First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCP7079405, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2018/19

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC2377, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination BIOINFORMATICS
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Mathematics
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIORGIO VALLE BIO/11

Course unit code Course unit name Teacher in charge Degree course code

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines BIO/10 Biochemistry 6.0

Course unit organization
Period First semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 8 17.0 No turn
Lecture 5.0 40 85.0 No turn

Start of activities 30/09/2019
End of activities 18/01/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
7 a.a. 2019/2020 01/10/2019 28/02/2021 VALLE GIORGIO (Presidente)
AIOLLI FABIO (Supplente)
6 a.a. 2018/2019 01/10/2018 28/02/2020 VALLE GIORGIO (Presidente)
AIOLLI FABIO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: There are no particular prerequisites other than what it is expected from a master student in informatics.However, a basic knowledge of genetics and molecular biology will help in the understanding of the biological motivations of bioinformatics.
The course is in English, therefore the students should have a reasonable command of spoken and written English.
Target skills and knowledge: The course is divided in three main parts: the first part is about the relationship between Biology and Information; the second part describes the main algorithms used in bioinformatics for the alignment of sequences and genomic assembly; the third part is about bioinformatic problems related to functional genomics. Furthermore, the course includes practicals in which the students will apply bioinformatic approaches for analyzing genomic data.
Taking into consideration the complexity of the subject and in agreement with the Dublin Descriptors, a particular attention will be spent to promote the ability of the students to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgments with incomplete or limited information.
Examination methods: The exam will be articulated into three parts: 1) a practical session in which the student must describe a project of data analysis, that must be submitted at least two days before the date of the exam, 2) a quiz session on Moodle, that will take place at the beginning of the exam day, 3) an oral discussion in which the student must describe his/her project and answer questions on the topics of the course. A continuous process of assessment will be carried out throughout the course, to verify the level of understanding of the students.
Assessment criteria: In their final examination the students should demonstrate a systematic understanding of the field and mastery of the methods of research associated with it. Furthermore, they should be capable of critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of new and complex ideas, integrating the subjects of this course with other knowledge.
Course unit contents: This is a six credits course: five credits will be from lessons while one credit will be from practical activities, either the implementation and of some algorithm or the in-depth investigation of the literature on given arguments.
The lessons are divided in three main parts.
The first part is an extensive introduction on Biology presented as a scientific field centered on Information. The mechanisms that facilitate the transmission and evolution of biological information is used to introduce some biological problems that require computational approaches and bioinformatics tools.
The second part of the course describes the main algorithms used for the alignment of biological sequences, including those designed for “next generation sequencing”. The algorithms used for de novo genomic assembly are also described.
Finally, the third part of the course covers several aspects of bioinformatics related to functional genomics, such as the analysis of transcription, gene prediction and annotation, the search of patterns and motifs and the prediction of protein structures. The role of Bioinformatics in individual genomic analysis and personalized medicine is also discussed.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: The course will include lectures and practicals. The teaching activity will be supported by resources made available on the e-learning platform "Moodle". These resources include teaching material as well as tools for self-assessment. The motivation behind this implementation is the promotion of an activity of "blended learning" that would allow the student to learn, at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media. When possible, the "flipped classroom paradigm" will be applied, thus reversing the traditional learning environment. Firstly the student learns the topics autonomously, then a thorough discussion will take place in the classroom, among the students and the teacher.
An ample selection of assessment questionnaires and exercises is made available on the Moodle platform, both to allow the students to self-assess and to stimulate arguments which will be further discussed in the classroom.
Additional notes about suggested reading: There are no official text books for this course. The students will be encouraged to find the information from multiple sources. Lecture notes and other teaching material will be available on the Moodle e-learning platform.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)