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Part IA Mathematical Biology Practical Classes

Computing and computational analyses are an important part of biology. We therefore introduce NST IA Mathematical Biology students to the widely-used statistical programming language, R. By the end of the course, all students should be able to work with data using this language and to carry out some simple computer programming.

The Mathematical Biology R course is run via practical sessions every Thursday during term, with students using their own laptop or computing device. Each session will start with a short introduction, after which students should download and work through that week's practical worksheet, and any required data files, from the Practical Resources section of the Mathematical Biology Moodle site. Several demonstrators will be on hand to help and explain when any problems or questions arise.

The practicals are intended to be carried out within the RStudio programming environment. It is therefore worth checking in advance that this can be installed and run on your computer; click here for instructions on how to do this. If you run into trouble with this, the first session of Michaelmas Term will be devoted to ensuring that students have both R and RStudio properly installed on their laptop.

In general, any reasonably up-to-date laptop will be adequate; however Chromebooks and some other low-end devices may struggle to install and run R successfully. A small number of laptops will be available during the practicals for students who do not have access to one; however they should also discuss with their Director of Studies, as a suitable computing device will likely be necessary for other projects and assignments during your degree.