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In this course, part of the Algorithms and Data Structures MicroMasters program, you will learn how graph algorithms are used in two fundamental problems in modern biology:

  • How do we sequence a genome?
  • How do we construct an evolutionary “Tree of Life?"

In the first part of the course, you will learn how genome sequencing relies on using a graph to assemble millions of tiny DNA fragments into a contiguous genome. We will then shift gears and learn how to construct an evolutionary tree of life from genome data.


Week 1: Introduction to Genome Sequencing and Graphs
Introduction to the basics of genome sequencing, and first attempts to model this problem using graphs.

Weeks 2 and 3: Assembling Genomes from Tiny Fragments
Applying an Eulerian path approach to assemble a genome from small pieces of DNA, and adapting this theoretical solution to practical considerations.