• Offered by Mathematical Sciences Institute
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Mathematics
  • Areas of interest Mathematics
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Conrad Burden
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course
  • Offered in First Semester 2025
    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

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.

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 workshops.

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.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you 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). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found 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, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2615 17 Feb 2025 24 Feb 2025 31 Mar 2025 23 May 2025 In Person N/A

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