CS Special and Advanced Study Courses for Spring 2005

CS 4984: Introduction to Computational Biology, Dr. Liqing Zhang

This course is intended for senior computer science majors who want to become familiar with biological questions and with solving these questions using computational tools. Little or no biological background is assumed. The course will cover basic genetics and problems in the current genomic era. This is an exciting time for students with a computer science background who are interested in the interplay between computer science and biology. Computer science is proving to be extremely useful to biology and vice versa. In many cases, computer scientists are changing the way biologists think about problems or access and utilize information. At the same time, biological questions are generating important new applications and research areas for computer science.

We will look at several case studies using computational tools to solve these problems. Students will be expected to choose a problem or project to work with throughout the course, write a project report and make a presentation. Approximately 50% of the grade will be determined by this project. The remainder of the grade will be based on homework assignments and a final exam.

Prerequisite: CS 2604 with a C or better.

CS 4984: Graphical User Interface Programming, Mr. Mir Farooq Ali

The goal of this course is to educate students about the principles of graphical user interface programming. User interface technology has grown rapidly in the last 10 years, and clear principles have evolved. Students will learn skills that will be broadly applicable in software and technology development. Students knowledgeable in these principles will be equipped to learn new user interface development tools and environments on the job. The focus of this course will be on the "technology" behind GUIs and not on the usability of the UIs.

Prerequisites: CS 2604 with C or better. Some knowledge of Java will be helpful.

CS 4984: Computer Vision, Dr. Francis Quek

A course description is available here.

CS 5984: Design of Interactive Systems, Dr. Steve Harrison

A course description is available here.

CS 5984: Patter Classification and Clustering, Dr. Yingen Xiong

A course description is available here.

CS 5984: Foundations of Scientific Computing, Dr. Adrian Sandu

Here's the link to the last offering of this course.

CS 6104: Algorithms in Structural Bioinformatics, Dr. Vicky Choi

In the post-genomic era, key problems in molecular biology center on the determination and exploitation of three-dimensional molecular structure and function. This course will discuss the computational techniques for analysing, modeling and predicting the three-dimensional structure of biological molecules. The emphasis will be on algorithmic research for protein structural comparison, molecular docking, and if time permits, protein folding. Molecular docking can be defined as the computational prediction of the structure of receptor-ligand complexes, where the receptor is a protein and the ligand is either another protein, or a small molecule, or a macromolecule like DNA or RNA. Molecules seldom act alone and the binding of ligand molecules to protein receptors is central to numerous biological processes. Accurate predictive docking methods can provide substantial structural knowledge about complexes, from which functional information could be inferred or experiments could be designed to obtain it. In particular, accurate and efficient protein-small molecule docking algorithm is of fundamental importance to the structure-based drug design, with major potential to develop new therapeutics for AIDS, cancer, infectious and other diseases.

Prerequisites: A solid algorithm background (graduate algorithm course) is required. No biology or chemistry knowledge is assumed (but interests in biological problems and a learning attitude are required).

CS 6104: Computational Structural Biology II, Dr. Alexey Onufriev

CS 6204: Computer Security, Dr. Dennis Kafura

CS 6604: Data Compression, Dr. Roger Ehrich

Here's the link to the last offering of this course.

CS 6604: Tools for On-line Education, Drs. Steve Edwards and Pérez-Quiñones

This course is a graduate seminar course covering advanced topics in software support for on-line teaching and learning. The course will involve a combination of reading/discussing current papers in the relevant research literature, and group projects that involve developing or extending tools for on-line education. More information available at http://web-cat.cs.vt.edu/CsEdWiki/ToolsForOnlineEducation. Possible topics to be discussed in the course include: