Namrata Udeshi is a group leader in a proteomics lab at MIT's Broad Institute, working long days to understand the intricacies of cellular life. She's also the mother of two toddlers, with almost no free time.
And yet, every day, she spends hours learning the programming language Python. She's enrolled in an intro to programming class through Harvard Extension School. Udeshi is hardly alone: When I asked a handful of post-doc biologists eating brunch in Boston last week how many were teaching themselves to code, every hand went up.
In biology, big data is the thing. "We cannot manually look through 15,000 data points anymore," Udeshi says. To analyze it all, biologists need to write programs specifically tailored for their experiments.
Graduate programs realize that computer scientists aren't the only ones who need computational skills, and they're correcting the issue — slowly.
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