The Computational Biology Track

The Computational Biology Track is intended for students who wish to develop working knowledge of computational techniques and their applications to biomedical research. Recent advances in high-throughput technologies, e.g., for DNA sequencing and for measuring RNA expression via DNA microarrays, are changing the nature of biomedical research. They empower fundamental new understandings of biological mechanisms with far reaching applications to biological and medical sciences. To fulfill this promise, new computational techniques are needed to analyze genome sequences, protein structures, metabolic and regulatory pathways, evolutionary patterns and the genetic basis of disease. The computational-biology track seeks to provide state of the art understanding of this concomitant growth of high-throughput experimental techniques, computational techniques to analyze their data, the resulting new understandings of biological mechanisms and their applications to pharmacological and medical practice (from diagnosis to drug design).

1. Summary of Requirements

Students must complete a total of 30 points and must maintain at least 2.7 overall GPA in order to be eligible for the MS degree in Computer Science.

  1. Computational Biology track requires:

    - Breadth courses
    - Required Track courses (6pts)
    - Track Electives (6pts)
    - General Electives (6pts)

  2. 2 required courses (6 points): COMS W4761 (Computational Genomics) and either COMS W4771 or SIEO W4150.

  3. 6 elective points at the 6000-level, at least 3 of these 6000-level points must be selected from the list of Elective Track Courses (See Section 4).

  4. 6 credits of general elective graduate courses, at 4000 level or above; at least 3 of these points must be CS graduate courses.

  5. At least 3 elective points must be selected from courses in biological departments.

  6. Students, who waive track requirements using previous courses, may complete the 30 graduate credits by expanding their electives selected from (a) the list of required track courses; (b) the list of elective track courses; or (c) other graduate courses.

Please use the Degree Progress Check to keep track of your requirements.

2. Breadth Requirement

Students are required to satisfy Breadth Requirements by taking 1 course from Group 1, 1 course from Group 2, 1 course from Group 3, and 1 more course from any of the three groups. Track courses taken at Columbia can also count towards the breadth requirement.

Group  Courses
Group 1 (Systems)

All CS 41xx courses except CS 416x and CS 417x
All CS 48xx courses, and CS 4340, 4444, and 4460

Group 2 (Theory)

All CS 42xx courses including CSOR W4231

Group 3 (AI and Apps)

All CS 47xx courses, and CS 416x and CS 417x


3. Required Track Courses

Students are required to complete the following courses. Students who have taken equivalent courses in the past and received grades of at least a B may apply for waivers and take other CS courses instead.

 Course ID
Title
COMS W4761  

Computational Genomics

Students are required to complete one (1) of the following courses:

 Course ID
Title
COMS W4771 

Machine Learning

SIEO W4150 

Probability and Statistic

4. Elective Track Courses

Students are required to take two courses from the following list, at least one of which must be a 6000-level course. Other courses on this list may be used as general electives or waiver replacements when the student has received a waiver.

 Course ID
Title
COMS W4111 

Introduction to Databases

COMS W4252 

Introduction to Computational
Learning Theory

COMS W4772 (E6772)

Advanced Machine Learning

COMS W4995

Data Sci Tech Entrepreneurship

COMS W4995

GPU Computing
COMS E6111 

Advanced Database Systems

COMS E6901 

Projects in Computer Science

COMS E6998 

Computational Human Genetics

COMS E6998 

Seminar on Biological Networks

COMS E6998 

Seminar in Evolutionary and
Comparative Genomics

COMS E6998 

Biological Networks

COMS E6998

Comp Methods/High Thrghpt SEQ

COMS E6998 

Research Seminar in
Computational Genomics

COMS E6998

Search Engine Technology

COMS E6998

Adv. Topics in Machine Learning

COMS E6998

Intro/Distributed Data Mining

COMS E6998

Cloud Computing

COMS E6998

Algorithmic Graph Theory

COMS E6998

Cpm Vis Machine Learning Mobile Platform

COMS E6998

Cloud Computing and Big Data

COMS E6998

Adv Sem Computational Genomics

BIOC W4512 

Molecular Biology

BIOL W4031 

Genetics I

BIOL W4032 

Genetics II

BIOL W4034 

Biotechnology

BIOL W4037 

Bioinformatics of Gene Expression

BIOL W4041 

Cell Biology

BIOL W4070 

The Biology and Physics of
Single Molecules

BIOL W4300 

Drugs and Disease

BIOL W4073 

Cellular and Molecular Immunology 

BIOL W4400

Biological Networks

BIOL W4510 

Molecular Systems Biology I

BCHM G4026

Biochemistry of Nucleic  
and Protein Synthesis

BCHM G4250 

Biochemistry and Molecular
Biophysics

BCHM G6300 

Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology of Eukaryotes I

BCHM G6301 

Biochemistry and Molecular
Biology of Eukaryotes II

BMEN E6480 

Computational Neural Modeling
and Neuroengineering

GEND G4050

Advanced Eukaryotic        
Molecular Genetics

STAT G6101 

Statistical Modeling and Data Analysis

APMA E4400 

Introduction to Biophysical Modeling

BINF G4014 

Computational Biology I:  
Functional and Integrative Genomics

BINF G4015 

Computational Biology II:
Proteins, Networks, Function        


5. General Electives

Students are required to complete at least 6 additional graduate points at, or above, the 4000 level; at least 3 of these points must be CS, the other 3 points may be a technical or non-CS/non-technical elective approved by the track advisor. Please complete a non-tech approval form, get your advisor's approval, and forward it to CS Student Services. At most 3 points overall of the 30 graduate points required for the MS degree may be non-CS/non-technical.

6. Track Planning

 

Please visit the Directory of Classes to get the updated course listings. Please also note that not all courses are offered every semester, or even every year. A few courses are offered only once every two or three years or even less frequently. For more information, please see the SEAS Bulletin CS course-offering schedule (This schedule can change due to unforeseeable circumstances; thus, it should only be used as a reference).

7. Contact

Please direct all questions concerning the Computational Biology Track to Prof. Itsik Pe'er.

8. Graduation

Candidates preparing for graduation should submit a completed application for degree to the Registrar's Office and submit a track graduation form to CS Student Services.



Last Updated: 8/13/2014