Representatives of liberal arts institutions from throughout the Midwest are attending the conference "Hands-on Teaching of Bioinformatics" at Hope College on Thursday-Saturday, May 13-15.

Bioinformatics is an emerging field that seeks to apply the tools and techniques of computer science to the management and analysis of biological data.

The conference is being attended by approximately 60 faculty, science librarians and instructional technologists from biology, computer science and chemistry from the colleges and universities of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA).

Hope and the other participating institutions are members of the Midwest Instructional Technology Center (MITC), which promotes effective teaching in the liberal arts tradition through collaboration in the use of instructional technology. The MITC is a regional center of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE).

The conference's goal is to empower member institutions to create modules and/or courses that are explicitly interdisciplinary and that utilize a librarian and/or instructional technologist. Sessions include hands-on workshops, plenary speakers, discussions and posters that highlight ongoing work at MITC-member campuses.

The Hope faculty who are on the event's eight-member planning committee are Dr. Maria Burnatowska-Hledin, who is a professor of biology and chemistry, and Dr. Matthew DeJongh, who is an assistant professor of computer science.