Data Analysis for Biologists

By Prof. Biplab Bose   |   IIT Guwahati
Learners enrolled: 901
Analysis of data is an integral part of biology, both in academic research and the Industry. With the advent of high-throughput techniques, biological data analysis has crossed the realm of classical statistical techniques and now involves techniques used by the wider data analytic and machine learning community. It is now expected that every biology student is acquainted with the key concepts and tools of data analysis. This course is designed specifically for biology students to learn the key concepts, applications, and limitations of commonly used data analysis techniques. This course emphasizes visualization and analysis of higher-dimensional data, like clustering, classification, and dimensionality reduction.


INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Data analysis is an essential component in any bio-pharma/healthcare industry. Data analysis in biology has already moved out of the domain of conventional statistics, and it is expected that a student of biology is acquainted with basic concepts of modern data analysis tools.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students of different areas of Biology, Biotechnology, and allied  subjects
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 21 Feb 2022
End Date : 15 Apr 2022
Exam Date : 23 Apr 2022 IST
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
  • Computational Biology
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Course layout

Week 1: Basic concepts of probability  and statistics
Week 2: Basic concepts of linear  algebra
Week 3: Basics of R
Week 4: Data visualization
Week 5: Correlation and regression
Week 6: Clustering and classification, Correlation and regression
Week 7: Clustering and classification
Week 8:Analysis of higher-dimensional data

Books and references

Reading materials, links for online resources, Excel files and R codes will be provided by the instructor and will be adequate enough for this course. 
Reference books: 
1.Whitlock, Michael C.; Schluter, Dolph. The Analysis of Biological Data (2nd edition). Freeman, W. H. & Company, 2014. 
2.Yang, Zheng R.; Machine Learning Approaches to Bioinformatics. World Scientific, 2010. 
3.Moses, Alan; Statistical Modeling and Machine Learning for Molecular Biology. Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2016. 
4.Hartvigsen, Gregg. A Primer in Biological Data Analysis and Visualization Using R, (1st Edition). Columbia University Press, 2014. 
5.Stewart, James; Day, Troy; Biocalculus: Calculus for Life Sciences. Cengage Learning, 2015
6.James, Gareth, etal. An introduction to statistical learning with application in R. Vol. 112. New York: springer, 2013.
First edition can be downloaded from the website https://www.statlearning.com/

Instructor bio

Prof. Biplab Bose

IIT Guwahati
Dr. Biplab Bose is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biosciences and Bioengineering at IIT Guwahati.  He has developed and taught courses on data analysis, systems biology, and bioinformatics. He is interested in  understating the design principles of molecular networks, applications of dynamical systems theory and statistical  physics in biology. He has also developed software like FlowPy, CorNetMap, and DEBay.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams:  23 April 2022  Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Guwahati. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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