Course Overview

Dive into the exhilarating intersection of biology and programming, where global healthcare is dynamically evolving! With the backdrop of emergent pandemic threats, the rise of digital therapeutics, and the ever-increasing demands from an aging population, the traditional confines of healthcare are being reimagined. No longer is our health information tethered to the familiar hallways of hospitals and clinics. Instead, we’re witnessing a digital revolution powered by personalized medicine, intricate diagnostics, and cutting-edge medical informatics.

Embark on a transformative journey with us as we navigate this new frontier. In this STEM course, we’ll merge the worlds of biology and mathematics in ways you’ve never imagined. Using Python programming as our compass, we’ll delve deep into the vast realms of biology. From the microscopic intricacies of molecules and cells to the grandeur of organs and the entire body, and even further into the realm of public health, we’ll explore it all! Unlock the secrets of life, and harness the power of algorithms to understand, predict, and innovate in the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare.

All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Master the fundamentals of Python programming with a focus on its application in biological contexts.
  • Analyze and construct mathematical models for diverse biological systems using quantitative techniques.
  • Deepen their understanding of bioinformatics, appreciating its significance in the modern healthcare landscape.
  • Develop and implement Python-based solutions to address complex challenges in biology.
  • Recognize the symbiotic relationship between programming and biology in the evolving digital healthcare realm.
  • Engage with the interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics, bridging gaps between biology, mathematics, and programming.
  • Explore the potential of digital diagnostics, personalized medicine, and medical informatics through hands-on programming projects.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 179

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2024 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail

Cost: $1,995
Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – Online: Explore college life before stepping foot on campus! High school students can enroll in a college-level course, pursue their academic interests, and meet likeminded students in daily virtual events and activities.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesSynchronous Class Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – Online3-Week Session II: Monday, July 29 – Thursday, Aug. 15, 2024MTWTh;
5 – 7 p.m.

Course Requirements

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants should have completed at least one introductory course in either biology, programming, or a related STEM field. Basic familiarity with computer operations and the internet, given the online nature of the course.

Technology Requirements

  • A modern laptop or desktop computer
  • A stable internet connection
  • A working webcam and microphone
  • Open-source software will primarily be used

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions Monday through Thursday, from 5 to 7 p.m. EST.

We are using Python to introduce various topics in biology. Python will be used as a tool to shed more light into the interface between engineering and biology. This project-based course is divided into 4 modules: 

  • Module 1: Introduction to Python programming using Jupyter Notebook
  • Module 2: Data Sciences in Biology (how to organize, plot and visualize biological data)
  • Module 3: Bioinformatics: How to mine data from DNA, RNA and protein sequences
  • Module 4: Signal and Image Processing: Basic signal analysis (vital signals, e.g., ECG, EEG) and image processing (e.g., X-ray)

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College virtual activities to meet and connect with other students across the world. Check out our Virtual Campus Experience page for more information!

Faculty Bios

Douglas Yung – Associate Teaching Professor, Bioengineering, College of Engineering & Computer Science

Douglas Yung is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at Syracuse University and serves as the Director for the Bioengineering undergraduate program. He completed his B.S. in electrical engineering and mathematics at UCLA in 2003 and later pursued a Ph.D. in bioengineering from Caltech in 2008. Following this, he spent time at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow, working on sensor development, microfluidics, and bacterial spore viability. In 2009, he joined the Department of Electronic Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor.

Prof. Yung is not just a distinguished academic but a visionary biomedical engineer. He is known for fostering expansive collaborations that bridge the gaps between academia, industry, hospitals, and communities on a grand scale. His intrigue lies at the intersection of microbes and engineering tools, particularly on a micro- and nano-scale. He is actively pioneering techniques to evaluate the resilience of superbugs and derive energy from extremophiles, merging electrochemical and optical techniques with MEMS devices. Over the past 12 years, he has championed more than 20 STEM outreach programs, impacting over 500 K-12 students. His contributions to education have been lauded with awards, including the College Educator of the Year by the Technology Alliance of Central New York (TACNY). A staunch advocate for hybrid teaching, Prof. Yung promotes a holistic learning environment rich in hands-on projects, experiential activities, and peer collaboration, a marked shift from conventional pedagogies.