A genome encodes a set of instructions for performing some functions within our cells. Analyzing our genomes helps, for example, to determine differences in these instructions (known as genetic variations) from human to human that may cause diseases or different traits. One benefit of knowing the genetic variations is better understanding and diagnosis of diseases and the development of efficient drugs.
Computers are widely used to perform genome analysis using dedicated algorithms and data structures. However, timely analysis of genomic data remains a daunting challenge, due to the complex algorithms and large datasets used for the analysis. Increasing the number of processing cores used for genome analysis decreases the overall analysis time, but significantly escalates the cost of building, maintaining, and cooling such a computing cluster, as well as the power/energy consumed by the cluster. This is a critical shortcoming with respect to both energy production and environmental friendliness. Cloud computing platforms can be used as an alternative to distribute the workload, but transferring the data between the clinic and the cloud poses new privacy and legal concerns.
In this course, we will cover the basics of genome analysis to understand the computational steps of the entire pipeline and find the computational bottlenecks. Students will learn about the existing efforts for accelerating one or more of these steps and will have the chance to carry out a hands-on project to improve these efforts.
Prerequisites of the course:
The course is conducted in English.