[BiO BB] How to write Algorithms

Philipp Pagel philipp.pagel at cmp.yale.edu
Wed Sep 26 11:40:55 EDT 2001


> The analogy I would like to draw is having all the tools for building a car,
> without ever having seen a car - what is the point ?
> Finally, I think all the books suggested are great and I have myself used
> them extensively, so please do not misunderstand my point, which is - Find a
> problem first and then start thinking about how you want to solve it.

Sure - in order to solve a real world problem you want to understand the problem 
first (and see the big picture). But I think it's a rather bad idea to find a 
computational problem and then start thinking about learning how to programm. 
Picking up your car analogy: I wouldn't ask a designer to actually build a car - 
i'd much prefer a mechanical engineer to do that job. 

Also most computational problems are not entirely novel and it helps a lot to have
reasonable background in common algorithms and techniques in the relevant field.

What I like about bioinformatics is that a lot of knowledge from both biology 
and computerscience is required to tackle real problems. Neither of those sciences 
alone is up to the task...


Dr. Philipp Pagel
Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology         phone: (203) 785-6835	
SHM, B117                                               fax:   (203) 785-4951
Yale University
333 Cedar ST
New Haven, CT 06520

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