C++ for Biologists

Faculteit Science and Engineering
Jaar 2020/21
Vakcode WBBY015-05
Vaknaam C++ for Biologists
Niveau(s) bachelor
Voertaal Engels
Periode semester I b
Rooster rooster.rug.nl

Uitgebreide vaknaam C++ for Biologists
Leerdoelen At the end of the course, the student is able to:
1) Demonstrate sufficient working knowledge of the syntax rules of C++ to be able to assemble simple simulation
2) Write code using a consistent programming style that complies with the quality standards for the documentation of
scientific work
3) Use professional resources for debugging, optimization and code development
4) Design a simulation algorithm to address a given biological research question, and reflect on the biological implications
of simulation results
Omschrijving This course, which is specifically designed for biology students, teaches the participants how to develop software in the
programming language C++. Special emphasis is given to the implementation of biological models. The course is accessible to
students irrespective of their previous programming experience; the primary target audience consists of students with no prior
background in programming. These students use the first two weeks of the course to become familiar with the essentials of the C++
programming language, such as:
• Procedural programming: data types, operators, program flow and functions
• Elementary applications of the Standard Template Library
• Data input & generation of output including statistics like mean and standard deviation
The third week of the course is devoted to:
• Program design, algorithms and debugging
• Deterministic simulation techniques for biological models
• Pseudo-random numbers and stochastic simulations
• Programming mini-project
Students who already possess basic C++ programming skills, or students who are already familiar with another programming
language can participate in an advanced track, which runs in parallel as part of the MSc variant of the course. For these students
the course covers:
• A brief review of procedural programming techniques and elementary C++
• Pointers, templates and advanced applications of the Standard Template Library
• Object-oriented programming
• Individual-based simulation techniques
A self-study variant of the course is available for motivated students who are unable to follow the course in a classroom setting due
to scheduling constraints.
Uren per week
Onderwijsvorm Hoorcollege (LC), Practisch werk (PRC)
(Lectures 30 hrs, practicals 110 hrs.)
Toetsvorm Practisch werk (PR)
(The final grade of the course is based on the marks for the three weekly programming assignments (each determining 1/3 of the final grade).)
Vaksoort bachelor
Coördinator prof. dr. G.S. van Doorn
Docent(en) dr. J. Bakker ,prof. dr. G.S. van Doorn ,prof. dr. F.J. Weissing
Verplichte literatuur
Titel Auteur ISBN Prijs
Programming in C++ for Biologists Sander van Doorn, Joke Bakker €  15,00
Entreevoorwaarden PLEASE NOTE
Biology and Life Science & Technology (old curriculum) course units are only accessible for students of those degree programmes. Students from other degree programmes who would like to participate in Biology course units are obliged to contact one of the academic advisors before registration. After this contact, students have to request admission from the Board of Examiners Biology/Life Science & Technology. Failing to follow this procedure results in immediate unenrollment without prior notification.
Opmerkingen Preparation for: Modelling Life, Big Data in Human Disease, Big Data Management in Ecology & Evolution, Self-organisation, Bio-informatics.

Regular attendance (>80%) of the practicals and participation in all weekly assignments are preconditions for obtaining a final mark.

Dit vak had vorig jaar vakcode WBLS19009
Opgenomen in
Opleiding Jaar Periode Type
BSc Biology: major Ecology and Evolution 2 semester I b keuzegroep
BSc Biology: major Integrative Biology 2 semester I b keuzegroep