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Tutorial title: Machine learning and data science methods for Bioinformatics

Instructor: Dr. Gopalakrishnan

This tutorial provides an overview of machine learning and data science methods that are being used to solve complex problems in Bioinformatics. The representation of problems will be described in general terms so as to enable participants to understand how solutions to bioinformatics problems such as evolutionary analysis or time series data analysis can be applied easily to other domains.

The goal of this course is to enable hands-on understanding of at least two important algorithms that are commonly used in the real-world applications, namely, clustering or unsupervised learning, and hidden Markov models. The clustering algorithm will be presented in the context of its applicability to phylogenetic tree building. The hidden Markov models and Markov chains are introduced in the context of gene finding.

No prior experience with bioinformatics or machine learning is required. The tutorial will be adapted to the backgrounds of the set of participants.

About the Instructor

Dr. Vanathi GopalakrishnanDr. Vanathi Gopalakrishnan is tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, with several joint appointments. She has a doctoral degree in Computer Science and has been involved in training and mentoring students within the Biomedical Informatics Training Program (BMITP), the Intelligent Systems Program, and the Joint CMU-Pitt Program in Computational Biology for over a decade and been an active part of the Medical Scientist Training Program for the past three years. She is also a faculty member of the Cardiovascular Bioengineering Training Program. She pioneered the introduction of Bioinformatics as a core topic within the BMITP at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine in January, 2000, and has successfully supervised a large number of doctoral students in this area. In 2012, she was made the initial Director of an innovative program to introduce rising high school juniors and seniors to the fields of Computer Science, Biology and Biomedical Informatics (CoSBBI) as part of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Summer Program. This program has grown since and a full-time director has taken it over. Since February 2017, she has been involved in another pioneering effort as Co-Director of the Bioengineering, Biotechnology, and Innovation (BBI) Area of Concentration within the Medical School Curriculum.

Faculty coordinator
Dr. Bimal Kumar Meher