While biological data continues to grow exponentially in size and quality, many of today’s biologists are not trained adequately in the computing skills necessary for leveraging this information deluge. In Computing Skills for Biologists, Stefano Allesina and Madlen Wilmes present a valuable toolbox for the effective analysis of biological data.
Based on the authors’ experiences teaching scientific computing at the University of Chicago, this textbook emphasizes the automation of repetitive tasks and the construction of pipelines for data organization, analysis, visualization, and publication. Stressing practice rather than theory, the book’s examples and exercises are drawn from actual biological data and solve cogent problems spanning the entire breadth of biological disciplines, including ecology, genetics, microbiology, and molecular biology. Beginners will benefit from the many examples explained step-by-step, while more seasoned researchers will learn how to combine tools to make biological data analysis robust and reproducible. The book uses free software and code that can be run on any platform.