Project Guidelines

Personal Project Info

In order to aid formation of groups, please post a message to the "Project Discussions" topic in courseworks with the following information:

Group Composition

One-page proposal

Group project proposal is due Monday, March 29. Please submit a text/pdf/ps version of your proposal via courseworks, and include the names and emails of all group members in the proposal. You should describe the biological problem, methods, and if possible a potential dataset.

Project Requirements

The purpose of the project is to have you accomplish the following:

  1. Implement or use one or more machine learning algorithms or techniques
  2. Use these techniques to look at real biological data
  3. Evaluate the performance of your method and attempt to draw conclusions from your results about the biological problem you are considering and/or about the appropriateness of your method for the problem

Within these three requirements, there is a lot of freedom to lean towards more computational or more biological projects: some groups will use standard machine learning techniques to explore a particular biological problem; some groups will evaluate a newer or original machine learning algorithm on a standard biological benchmark dataset. Of course, the most innovative projects would try to specialize or develop machine learning techniques suitable for the particular biological problem at hand.

There should be some original aspect to your project. For example, you should not simply reproduce the results of a published paper, using the same dataset and publically available software -- this is more like a homework exercise. However, you can build off of ideas in the literature in the following ways:

Project Report Format

You should aim for a short, conference-style paper:

Your entire report (text and figures) should be put online in HTML, postcript, or pdf format. I'll collect the URLs on the due date and create a class project page with links to all the group project pages.

Here is a suggested general format for your report:

Your introduction should describe the biological problem, quickly summarize previous work in the literature, outline your approach, and end with a statement of your results -- what you learned from your experiments

You may be able to publish your paper, or your work may be a first step towards a publishable paper -- if interested, I can give suggestions on how to get your work in shape for publication and where to submit.