Jun 16, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2009-2010 
Rensselaer Catalog 2009-2010 [Archived Catalog]

Computer Science with a Specialization in Computational Molecular Biology Ph.D.

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Students apply to the Computer Science Department in the usual manner. Student backgrounds are expected to include courses in calculus, elementary linear algebra, higher-level computer languages, algorithms & data structures, introductory organic chemistry (CHEM 2210 or equivalent), and introductory biology. Students lacking some of this material may be admitted but will be expected to acquire this knowledge during their studies. This may require taking courses beyond the normal degree requirements.

Students must complete 72 credits of course work and research beyond the B.S. Degree, with at least 36 credits in formal course work. They must take (1) at least 12 credits in molecular or cell biology/biochemistry, (2) at least nine credits in probability, statistics, machine learning and bioinformatics, and (3) at least 12 credits in Computer Science including at least one course each in software systems, theory of computation, and applications (in addition to courses covered on the qualifying exam, database systems, computational molecular biology, and data mining courses are recommended). They must further demonstrate programming ability by having done a substantial software project. The probability and statistics, programming proficiency, and molecular biology/biochemistry requirement can be satisfied by work done outside of the Ph.D. degree program. Graduate students are expected to attend the Computer Science Colloquium series on a regular basis.

After one year of study, students must pass a qualifying examination in (1) probability and statistics (material equivalent to Course MATP 4600), (2) Computer Science (material equivalent to courses CSCI 4020 Computer Algorithms, and CSCI 4430 Programming Languages, CSCI 6050 Computability, and Complexity), (3) and biochemistry I (BCBP 4760) or molecular biology (BIOL 4620).

By the end of the second year students must pass a research qualifying exam demonstrating breadth of knowledge in their research area. After their third year of graduate study, students are expected to pass an oral candidacy examination that focuses on their research. Subsequent to passing this examination, students must present at least two public lectures on their research and write and defend a dissertation.

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