Course Overview

Global healthcare is confronted with overarching opportunities and challenges created by emerging pandemic threats, digital therapeutics, growing demand from consumers and aging population. The delivery of health information and services is no longer tied to traditional “brick and mortar” hospitals and clinics, but through digital diagnostics, personalized medicine, and medical informatics.

This STEM course will follow an unconventional path to look at biology through the lens of mathematics and programming. You will be introduced to Python programming as a tool to understand different facets of biology, from molecules, cells, tissues, organs, whole body to the public health arena.

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


Having successfully completed this course, students are expected to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic Python programming.
  • Apply quantitative techniques to the analysis and modeling of biological systems.
  • Appreciate basic and core concepts in bioinformatics.
  • Write programs in Python to solve problems in biology

” Syracuse University Summer College – Online provided an engaging experience that expanded my education, helped me prepare for college, and immersed me in a delightful community of staff and students.”

— Sara H., Summer College – Online student, 2020

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 101

Format: Online

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail

Cost: $2,500
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 I: Tuesday, July 5 – Thursday, July 21, 2022MTWTh*;
6-8 p.m.
*July 4 is an observed holiday and students will have class on Friday, July 8 and then all subsequent synchronous class will run according to the schedule above. Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Technology Requirements

  • Laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and mouse
  • Headset with microphone
  • Reliable internet access
  • A space conducive to taking an online class (without distractions)

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students must attend live synchronous online sessions Monday through Thursday, from 6 to 8 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 the Director for the Bioengineering undergraduate program. He earned his B.S. in electrical engineering and mathematics from UCLA in 2003 and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from Caltech in 2008. Yung worked as a NASA Postdoctoral Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California on sensor development, microfluidics, and bacterial spore viability. He joined the Department of Electronic Engineering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as an assistant professor in 2009. Douglas has long been intrigued by the interfacing of microbes with engineering tools on a micro- and nano-scale. He is unraveling methods to rapidly assess the viability of superbugs and harness energy from extremophiles using a combination of electrochemical, optical techniques and MEMS devices. Professor Yung is an advocate of hybrid teaching and a learning environment replete with project-based hands-on work, experiential activities and peer collaboration, a style departing from traditional top-down expository pedagogies.

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