Scientific Computing Department, STFC Daresbury Laboratory

  • Daniel Barker (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Bioinformatics education on flexible low-cost computer hardware

Biology is increasingly dominated by computation. Yet, from an educational perspective, the disciplines of biology and computation remain quite distinct. As a small step towards bring them together, for the last two years we have provided biology students on an optional final-year undergraduate module at the University of St Andrews with a research-grade bioinformatics environment, in the form of Linux on the Raspberry Pi computer. Students are loaned hardware and given total control, including administrator access. We have made our teaching material freely available in open access form, as part of a complete operating system image for the Raspberry Pi, 4273pi ( Dependent on future funding we aim to expand this, in particular to cover the secondary school level. Our immediate goal is an all-encompassing bioinformatics 'textbook', leaving pupils and students better prepared for biology in higher education, research and industry. To this end academics and school teachers will develop teaching material. Academics and the class' usual teacher will co-teach, on Raspberry Pi hardware, at a range of schools across the UK. We plan for material to be modified in light of this experience, peer-reviewed and made freely available. The exciting possibilities of increased bioinformatics at schools and of future low-cost hardware are discussed.

Period7 Apr 2014
Held atSERC, STFC Daresbury Laboratory, United Kingdom