Information Science for Bioinformatics

BCB 712, Spring 2014
Tuesday and Thursday, 11:00am - 12:15m, Hamilton Hall 420
School of Information and Library Science


Instructor:  Dr. Bradley Hemminger Email:



966-2998 (office) 942-2273 (home)

206A Manning Hall

Office Hours:


Office Hours
and by appointment

Class Policies
Class Work


  1. To introduce basic Information Science principles that are used in many bioinformatics tools and contexts. To practice and become familiar with using tools and techniques, and gaining an an understanding of which techniques are appropriate for what problems and environments.

Class Policies and General Instructions

  1. I will always be prepared for class and will start class on time. If unforeseeable circumstances prevent this for any reason, I will try to notify you beforehand if at all possible. I expect the same of my students: be prepared for class, be ready to start class on time, and try to let me know by email if you can't be there.

  2. My classroom is intended to be a place where you are encouraged to share your thoughts, think critically, and feel safe in expressing your views. I always welcome your viewpoint, and will be respectful of your opinion. Similarly, I ask that you are respectiveful of your classmates.

  3. All class materials, as well as the course syllabus, policies, and schedule are available on the web (through our class webpages (this page). Class presentations are available so that you don't have to write down the basic information presented during class, hopefully allowing you to concentrate on the discussions and additional information presented in class.

  4. You will be expected to produce written output or visualizations for your exercises and assignments. You are generally free to use whatever tools you wish.

  5. Assignments should be turned in at the start of the class on which they are due. In general Assignments should published on our Assignments web pages by the start of class. We will review assignments the next class after they are turned in. In some cases, I may ask or allow print versions to be turned in (at the start of class). Late assignments: Any assignment received after the start of class when it is due, will be considered late. Late assignments can still be turned in for credit, but will receive less than full credit.

  6. You are expected and encouraged to participate in discussions and exercises in class. I will ask students to explain their work or discuss things we are studying in class. Part of your grade will be determined by the quality of your participation and your willingness to participate.

  7. Please be sure to subscribe to the class listserv. Click here to join the BCB 712 Class Listserv. On the form just fill in your email address; leave the other fields set to their defaults, then click Save to add yourself to the list. To send a message to the listserv, you send it to "", and it will be distributed to everyone in the class. Sign up for the 712 listserv immediately after the first class!

  8. Please provide your gmail account in the following google spreadsheet. I need this in order to provide you access to all the google sites and docs we'll use during class to share and turn in our work.
  9. You are expected to bring your laptop to every class. We use our laptops for doing work in class, and posting it to the class work wiki to share, as well as to research things in class. I will also ask members of the class to share their work (or homework) from their computer on the projection screen.

  10. If there is something you don't understand, please ask about it! If you don't want to ask during class, you may ask me during office hours, come see me at some other time, post your question to the listserv, or ask me over email. Your classmates may well be your best resources for many questions.

  11. Honor Code: The principles of academic honesty, integrity, and responsible citizenship govern the performance of all academic work and student conduct at the University as they have during the long life of this institution. Your acceptance of enrollment in the University presupposes a commitment to the principles embodied in the Code of Student Conduct and a respect for this most significant Carolina tradition. Your reward is in the practice of these principles. Your participation in this course comes with the expectation that your work will be completed in full observance of the Honor Code. Academic dishonesty in any form is unacceptable, because any breach in academic integrity, however small, strikes destructively at the University's life and work. (From the 8/1/1992 letter to the faculty, signed by Paul Hardin, Chancellor, and John Moody, Student Body President.)

  12. Resources: I make every attempt to use high quality, current, freely available resources for our class. This allows you to always have convenient access to a resource, and saves trees :-). There may be times that I utilize a resource or material from the SILS library or lab during the course of the semester. Please remember that many of your fellow students also need to use the same material. Follow the proper checkout procedures and return materials promptly to be a good SILS citizen.


Assignment 1:  18%
Assignment 2:  18%
Assignment 3:  18%
Assignment 4:   18%
Assignment 5:   18%
Class Particpation:   10%

Grad UnderG Range NumericEquivalent
A 95-100 (97)
P+ A- 90-94 (92)
P B 85-89 (87)
P- C 80-84 (82)
D 70-79
F F 69 and below


The GNET 712 Resources Page is used to maintain an ongoing collection of information about resources related to the BCB 712 class. It contains information on books, readings, examples, tools, and other web resources.


This page was last modified on Feb 9, 2014, by Bradley Hemminger. Address questions and comments about this page to him at
Bradley M. Hemminger