• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Mathematics
  • Academic career Postgraduate
  • Course convener
    • AsPr Conrad Burden
    • Dr Francis Hui
    • Prof John Urbas
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course MATH3353
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    Second Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

This course begins with a brief review of some of the areas of probability and statistics needed for applications to bioinformatics problems.  Typical problems addressed by bioinformaticians are identifying functionally different parts of a genome, searching DNA or protein databases to find sequences which are functionally similar to a given query sequence, or inferring the relatedness of different species by measuring the similarity of their genomes. The course will cover the mathematical theory behind algorithms commonly used by biologists and also give examples of current research. 

Furthermore, in consultation with the course lecturer, students will (i) select a research topic related to this course, and through reading of professional articles, acquire a fundamental knowledge of that topic. (ii) Write a report (2500 word limit) on the selected topic, explaining fundamental concepts and highlight key questions currently researched in the field. (iii) Demonstrate effective oral communication skills by presenting complex concepts to staff and other students in a 20-minute seminar, based on the report, as well as answer 10 minutes of questions.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Explain thoroughly the fundamental concepts of specific topics in bioinformatics and their role in modern mathematics and applied contexts.
  2. Demonstrate a deep understanding of the mathematical reasoning underlying specific bioinformatics techniques.
  3. Demonstrate accurate and efficient use of specific bioinformatics techniques.
  4. Read research articles in leading professional journals in order to evaluate current research  in bioinformatics and communicate their findings in a comprehensive written report.
  5. Demonstrate capacity for original mathematical reasoning in a broader biological context through analysing, proving and explaining concepts from bioinformatics.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the process of developing novel quantitative techniques in biology with reference to specific material in the published scientific literature.  
  7. Effectively communicate complex quantitative biology concepts relating to their peers and academic staff, through oral presentations.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment is expected to be based on:
  • Assignments (40%; LO 1-3)
  • Final exam (35%; LO 1-3)
  • A research project based on a specific example from published scientific literature (25%; LO 4-6)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Regular meetings and tutorials.

Requisite and Incompatibility

Incompatible with MATH3353

You will need to contact the Mathematical Sciences Institute to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Assumed Knowledge

Bachelor of Science or equivalent with a major in either mathematics, or statistics or physics with
relevant experience or academic achievement.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
2681 19 Feb 2018 26 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
7657 23 Jul 2018 30 Jul 2018 31 Aug 2018 26 Oct 2018 In Person

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