Computational Biology as a Compelling Pedagogical Tool in Computer Science Education

High-performance computing (HPC), and parallel and distributed computing (PDC) are widely discussed topics in computer science (CS) and computer engineering (CE) education. In the past decade, high-performance computing has also contributed significantly to addressing complex problems in bio-engineering, healthcare and systems biology. Therefore, computational biology applications provide several compelling examples that can be potent pedagogical tools in teaching high-performance computing. In this paper, we introduce a novel course curriculum to teach high- performance, parallel and distributed computing to senior graduate students (PhD) in a hands-on setup through examples drawn from a wealth of areas in computational biology. We introduce the concepts of parallel programming, algorithms and architectures and implementations via carefully chosen examples from computational biology. We believe that this course curriculum will provide students an engaging and refreshing introduction to this well-established domain.