A VIRTUAL COURSE IN BIOINFORMATICS TOOLS, USING JAVA
The Virtual School of Molecular Sciences
(http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms/) at Nottingham University (UK)
in conjunction with SUN Microsystems and the Globewide Network Academy is
offering a 3-month self paced virtual course in:
The course is aimed at people developing bioinformatics applications
and/or infrastructure and concentrates on Object-Oriented design with
Java as the primary technology.
In the tradition of earlier virtual courses (C++ at
http://info.desy.de/gna/html/cc/) and Principles of Protein Structure
(http://www.cryst.bbk.ac.uk/PPS/) we are running the course on the WWW and
course material is publicly visible. Previous courses have benefitted greatly
from a "global virtual learning community" and WE INVITE DATABASE PROVIDERS
AND THOSE ALREADY DEVELOPING CLASS LIBRARIES TO JOIN US AS CONSULTANTS.
The three modules (to be taken in order) are:
- Introduction to OO programming and Java technology
- Use of bioinformatics class libraries
- project work in virtual teams
The emphasis is on the use, and later construction, or robust re-usable
class libraries (objects) and the understanding of distributed objects
over Inter- and Intra-nets (e.g. through CORBA) We shall support the
graphical presentation of objects through class libraries developed by
a variety of collaborators, such as the Open Molecule Foundation
The final module - projects - will be responsive to student
proposals. We shall create virtual teams who can tackle projects ranging
from extensions of existing librtaries to utilising the full power of
distributed object technology.
Our tutors and consultants have much experience of OOP in this
area, but a major resource is the students themselves! In earlier
courses students have made important innovative constributions through
technology, collation of resources, glossaries, discussions and virtual
social institutions :-) A lively virtual classroom was created in BioMOO
The course is open to any graduate with programming experience
working in the biological arena or associated IT departments and requires
no special facilities other than WWW and the (free) Java Development Kit.
(NOTE: THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO DOWNLOAD UNTRUSTED APPLETS OVER THE
WWW. The JDK is used as a standalone compiler within a firewall and
should present no more security problems than any other compiler).
We are delighted that the GNA has developed virtual registration
procedures especially for this course. The cost of the modules is GBP
100/250/350 with discounts for registering for more than one course. We have
already had much interest and shall try to accommodate everyone who
applies, but may have to limit numbers.
Full details of the virtual school, its course catalog and details
of registration will be found under its home page
(http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms/). The course will start on October
21 onwards, and registration will be activated on October 8.
Peter Murray-Rust (PeterMR, BioMOO) Director, Virtual School of Molecular Sciences
Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nottingham University, NG7 2RD, UK; Tel: 44-115-951-5100
Fax: 5110 http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vsms/; OMF: http://www.ch.ic.ac.uk/omf/