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Developing Bioinformatics Computer Skills

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List Price: $34.95
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Spotlight Customer Reviews

Average Customer Rating: 3.3

Customer Rating: 5
Summary: Totally acessible to Computer geeks looking into Biology.
Comment: I have been examining my career and looking around to see what else interests me. I am a unix and perl hacker. I never took a whole lot of math or bio in college, and worried that a text like this would be as difficult to understand as _Biological Sequence Analysis_ (which I purchased at the same time) was. To put it more clearly, in order to begin understanding _Biological Sequence Analysis_, I am going to have to study Statistics and Discrete Mathematics. Coming from a programming background, I already understand matrix-based math, and I understand string algorithms and algorithms in general.

This book allowed me to take a look at what Bioinformatics is all about, and see if I am interested.

I can also say, as a perl programmer and general unix guy, that the unix and perl taught in this book are quite good, and concise while still being comprehensive.

This is definitely one of the better OReilly books I have read lately.

Customer Rating: 4
Summary: Good introduction, somewhat uneven
Comment: This book is a good introduction to Bioinformatics and to what it takes to get started in the field. Some reviewers deride it as too superficial or as too Unix-centric, but I think those are two of its strengths. The authors lay no claim to having written the definitive work on the subject of Bioinformatics, and they freely admit that they come in with a certain bias. If you are serious about Bioinformatics this won't be your last book anyway, but it'll get you started.

That said, I found the material a bit uneven. The authors tend to jump from almost trivial stuff to very complex in a heartbeat, and they sometimes use a concept or command before it can be properly understood One example: Introducing the Unix commands head and tail, then moving on to split and csplit. The introduction to regular expressions as needed by csplit follows a few pages later.

Nevertheless, I plan to use this book as a companion text to my own sequence of computer classes for biologists, and I think it will serve that purpose very well.

Customer Rating: 1
Summary: horrible
Comment: This book is the worst I've ever purchased. It has been no help whatsoever. It had a couple examples of PERL programming...big deal.

The 5-star ratings are obvious shills (one reviewer wrote a very long review and has never reviewed anything else)