Course Syllabus

Exploratory Biological Data Analysis with R and RStudio

Participation in this course requires completion of online classwork through Datacamp with specific deadlines throughout the Fall semester (see Assignments in the Course Summary section toward the bottom of the Syllabus). Each Datacamp course will require about 3 hours of work online. You will have free access to the Datacamp courses starting September 1. 


In this short course you will learn to analyze and visualize complex data sets using the R statistical programming language and the RStudio IDE. We will discuss common analytical challenges and you will learn to write reproducible reports. We will use common biological experiments to illustrate analysis strategies including the study of mRNA expression and isoforms, histone post-translational modification in the context of chromatin and cell-type characterization using single cell approaches. Due to space constraints in the classroom, class size is limited to 22 students.

Completion of this course will be a pre-requisite for registering for the Genome Analysis Workshop, a popular course taught in the Spring semester (

Dates and Times

This 2 credit hour course consists of eight 2 hour classes held Mon/Wed/Fri from Nov 29 through Dec 15 in TL2 in the Health Sciences Library from 1:00-3:00 pm.


Grades will be based on take-home assignments and quizzes (75%) and participation (25%).


Jay Hesselberth (


Austin Gillen (

Kent Riemondy ( 

Course Summary:

Date Details