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C++ for Biologists

  • 12 November - 21 December 2018
  • Groningen University
  • Environmental Life Sciences, Methodology
  • 5.0 ECTS

This course, which is specifically designed for biology students, teaches the participants how to write computer programs in the programming language C++ (using the Visual C++ Express developing environment).

Aim of the course

To learn to develop a computer program in the programming language C++ and to acquire a basic knowledge of computer simulation techniques and object-oriented programming.

Contents & Structure

This course, which is specifically designed for biology students, teaches the participants how to write computer programs in the programming language C++ (using the Visual Studio 2015 developing environment). The course covers the following topics:

  • Programming basics (data types, operators and program flow)
  • Functions, pointers and templates
  • Input/output handling and debugging
  • Elementary object-oriented programming

Throughout, the programming techniques are applied to biological research questions. The goal is to learn to translate a research question into expressions that can be implemented in a computer program. Much emphasis will be on simulation techniques. Topics covered include: data input, recurrent functions, implementation of differential equations, individual-based simulations, the use of random numbers, generation of output including statistics like mean and standard deviation.
In the last part of the course each participant applies the acquired knowledge in an individual research project.

The course provides students with a starter’s programming background, allowing further development by means of individual self-study. The course is obligatory for virtually all students who want to do a master’s or PhD project in theoretical biology and who have not yet acquired programming skills.

Former occurrences of this course

Nov 2019   |   12 Nov – 21 Dec 2018   |   Nov – Dec 2017   |   26 Sept – 22 Oct 2016   |   21 Sept – 16 Oct 2015   |   22 Sept – 17 Oct 2014   |   1-27 Oct 2013   |   1-26 Oct 2012

  • RSEE - Research School Ecology and Evolution
  • Once a year
  • Elementary computer and Windows literacy are required. It is not advisable to plan other activities next to this full-time course.