Fundamentals of Computers | Department of Life Sciences

Fundamentals of Computers

Course Summary

IT has changed the Biologists thought process, revolutionary processing speed and advancement in data storage and mining methods has completely changed the Biotechnology  and new branches emerged like “-Omics” technologies. The class is hands-on, project-oriented to give better understanding of IT applications in Biology. The course is designed to introduce the most important and basic computer concepts. It also involves case studies and applications in which Bioinformatics tools and algorithms can be used. The course will introduce students to altogether a new world of Biology which includes many new terminologies and concepts in Bioinformatics. This course will enable student aware of programming methods in Perl and linux which they can use in Bioinformatics analysis.

Detailed Contents

Introduction to computers:Overview and functions of a computer system, Computer generations with characteristic features, computer organization, CPU, ALU, memory hierarchy, registers, I/O devices, storage devices. Types of Processing: Batch, Real-Time, Online, Offline. Introduction to operating systems:  Operating System concept, Variants of Unix, Linux operating system and command line applications. Computer Networking: Introduction to networking: Associated hardware devices, gadgets (Router, Switch etc.), Network Topologies and Protocols LAN, WAN and MAN, World Wide Web (WWW) Network security: fire walls. Concepts in text-based searching Medline, bibliographic databases.

Algorithms, Flowcharts & Programming concepts:  Algorithms: Concepts & definitions, Converting algorithms to flowcharts, Comparing algorithms, flowcharts & programs, Algorithms solving Biological problems, Basic PERL Programming. Computers in Biology: Nature of Biological data, Biological Databases, pubmed, Overview of Bioinformatics, sequence alignment, Major Bioinformatics Resources: NCBI, EBI & ExPASY.


  1. Introduction to Bioinformatics- Attwood
  2. Bioinformatics -David Mount
  3. Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills- Cynthia Gibas
  4. Introduction to Bioinformatics- Arthur M Lesk
  5. Fundamentals of Computers, -V Rajaraman, PHI.
  6. Introduction to computers - Peter Norton
  7. Computer Fundamentals – P.K. Sinha


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