About the content
Do you have an interest in biology and quantitative tools? Do you know computational methods but do not realize how they apply to biological problems? Do you know biology but do not understand how scientists really analyze complicated data? 7.QBWx: Quantitative Biology Workshop is designed to give learners exposure to the application of quantitative tools to analyze biological data at an introductory level. The Biology Department of MIT has run this workshop-style course as part of a one-week outreach program for students from other universities. With 7.QBWx, we can give more learners from around the world the chance to discover quantitative biology. We hope that this series of workshops encourages learners to explore new interests and take more biology and computational courses.
We expect that learners from 7.00x Introduction to Biology – The Secret of Life or an equivalent course can complete this workshop-based course without a background in programming. The course content will introduce programming languages but will not teach any one language in a comprehensive manner. The content of each week varies. We want learners to have an introduction to multiple languages and tools to find a topic that they would want to explore more. We recommend that learners try to complete each week to find what interests them the most.
This workshop includes activities on the following biological topics: population biology, biochemical equilibrium and kinetics, molecular modeling of enzymes, visual neuroscience, global and single-cell gene expression, development, and genomics. The tools and programming languages include MATLAB, PyMOL, Python, and R. This course does not require learners to download MATLAB. All MATLAB activities run and are graded within the edX platform. We do recommend that participants download a few other free tools for the activities so that they learn how to use the same tools and programs that scientists use.
Workshop Content Creators and Residential Leaders
Gregory Hale, Michael Goard, Ben Stinson, Kunle Demuren, Sara Gosline, Glenna Foight, Leyla Isik, Samir El-Boustani, Gerald Pho, and Rajeev Rikhye
Residential Outreach Workshop Organizer and Creator
7.00x Introduction to Biology or similar (biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics). Programming experience is not required. An introduction to MATLAB, Python, and R is included.
- Apply quantitative methods to biological problems
- Define computational vocabulary
- Write Python, MATLAB, and R code to analyze biological data
- Examine any protein structure in PyMOL
- Analyze how to answer a scientific question through a step-by-step thought process.
Eric S. Lander
Founding Director of the Broad Institute; Professor of Biology
Latham Career Development Assistant Professor of Physics
Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering
Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering
Mary Ellen Wiltrout
MITx Digital Learning Scientist, Department of Biology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MITx Digital Learning Fellow, Department of Biology
MIT is a world-class educational institution where teaching and research — with relevance to the practical world as a guiding principle — continue to be its primary purpose.
MIT is independent, coeducational, and privately endowed. Its five schools and one college encompass numerous academic departments, divisions and degree-granting programs, as well as interdisciplinary centers, laboratories and programs whose work cuts across traditional departmental boundaries.
Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of California, Berkeley, are just some of the schools that you have at your fingertips with EdX. Through massive open online courses (MOOCs) from the world's best universities, you can develop your knowledge in literature, math, history, food and nutrition, and more. These online classes are taught by highly-regarded experts in the field. If you take a class on computer science through Harvard, you may be taught by David J. Malan, a senior lecturer on computer science at Harvard University for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. But there's not just one professor - you have access to the entire teaching staff, allowing you to receive feedback on assignments straight from the experts. Pursue a Verified Certificate to document your achievements and use your coursework for job and school applications, promotions, and more. EdX also works with top universities to conduct research, allowing them to learn more about learning. Using their findings, edX is able to provide students with the best and most effective courses, constantly enhancing the student experience.