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In this section of The Data Mine, students will be introduced to basic tools and techniques used in large data analysis with a focus on applications in biology. Participants will be introduced to the R statistical analysis package, Python programming, and supervised and unsupervised approaches to data analysis. Research areas include, but are not limited to, construction of phylogenetic trees, genomic analysis, gene regulation, systems biology, cancer and other genetic diseases, neuroscience, and ecological and environmental applications.


  • First preference will be given to Honors Students (from any major) 
  • Continuing students should have completed first-year biology core and chemistry classes and should be calculus ready
  • First year students enrolled in the College of Science with an interest in biology and the data sciences

Residential Component

  • Students from this learning community must reside in Hillenbrand Hall
  • Information on this residence hall can be found here
  • Students who are required to reside in a different residence hall (e.g. due to the Honors College or athletics participation) or who do not sign a housing contract may not participate in this learning community
  • Your roommate in most cases will be a member of the learning community
  • Completing a housing contract is a separate process from applying for a learning community


  • Fall and Spring semesters

Associated Classes


  • BIOL 19500 - Biology for The Data Mine (first-year, incoming students)
  • STAT 19000 1 credit -- The Data Mine I


  • BIOL 29400 Undergraduate Research
  • (upper division students only) BIOL 24100-24200 Genetics and Molecular Biology and lab
  • STAT 19000 1 credit -- The Data Mine II

Events and Activities Included:

  • Weekly dinners with LC participants
  • Tour of Purdue’s computational facilities
  • Social gatherings with LC members
  • Seminars by visiting speakers including practicing actuaries and data scientists
  • Meals with campus and community leaders
  • Game / recreation nights
  • Career and graduate school panels

Information above is subject to change. If you are placed in the LC, the associated courses will be on your schedule prior to you registering for the rest of your courses.

Learning Communities ERHT 1275 1st Street, West Lafayette, IN 47906 - (765) 494-5785 or (765) 494-8571,

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