• Class Number 2720
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Katharine Turner
    • AsPr Katharine Turner
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

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

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

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.

There are a variety of online platforms you will use to participate in your study program at ANU, across all of your courses. These could include videos for lectures and other instruction, two-way video conferencing for interactive learning, email and other messaging tools for communication, interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities, print and/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings, and home-based assessment.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments in answer to questions in lectures and tutorials

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Analysis of a single DNA sequence Assignment 1 & final exam
2 Analysis of a single DNA sequence Assignment 1 & final exam
3 Analysis of a single DNA sequence Assignment 1 & final exam
4 DNA and protein sequence comparison Assignment 2 & final exam
5 DNA and protein sequence comparison Assignment 2 & final exam
6 DNA and protein sequence comparison Assignment 2 & final exam
7 DNA and protein sequence comparison Assignment 3 & final exam
8 DNA and protein sequence comparison Assignment 3 & final exam
9 Population genetics Assignment 4 & final exam
10 Population genetics Assignment 4 & final exam
11 Population genetics Assignment 4 & final exam
12 Review and oral presentations Final exam

Tutorial Registration

Refer to the ANU Class Timetable (MyTimetable) and the course Wattle site.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Learning Outcomes
Assignment 1 10 % 08/03/2024 1,2,3
Assignment 2 10 % 28/03/2024 1,2,3
Assignment 3 10 % 03/05/2024 1,2,3
Assignment 4 10 % 24/05/2024 1,2,3
Final Exam 40 % * 1,2,3,5
Report and oral presentation 20 % * 4,5,6,7

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines , which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Integrity Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using 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. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Skills website. In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


This course is delivered in person, on campus. Timetabled lectures are scheduled to be recorded and available on the Echo360 platform. However, watching lecture recordings is not intended to be a full substitute for lecture attendance in person. Active participation is expected in all scheduled course activities.


Students should consult the course Wattle site and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and mode of the exam.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 08/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 1

Written and R programming problems relating to material covered in Weeks 1 to 3.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 28/03/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 2

Written and R programming problems relating to material covered in Weeks 4 to 6.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 03/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 3

Written and R programming problems relating to material covered in Weeks 7 and 8.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Assignment 4

Written and R programming problems relating to material covered in Weeks 9 to 11.

Assessment Task 5

Value: 40 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5

Final Exam

In person exam. Please see the course Wattle page and the ANU final examination timetable to confirm the date, time and mode of the exam.

Assessment Task 6

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 4,5,6,7

Report and oral presentation

Write and short report and a short oral presentation on a research topic within mathematical bioinformatics. Further details will be given on the course Wattle page.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

Online Submission

You will be required to agree to a declaration as part of the submission of your assignments, that will record your understanding of ANU academic integrity principles. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. MATH6208 does not use Turnitin, having been granted an exemption.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.

Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).

AsPr Katharine Turner

Research Interests

AsPr Katharine Turner

By Appointment
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AsPr Katharine Turner

Research Interests

AsPr Katharine Turner

By Appointment
By Appointment

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