Introducing Cheminformatics: an intensive electronic self-learning guide for new practitioners is a complete self-study guide designed to give you a rapid introduction to the emerging field of cheminformatics, including the history of the field, representing 2D and 3D chemical structures on computer, storing and using databases of chemical and related biological information, handling chemical information on the web and in the scholarly literature, and giving an overview of some advanced topics such as clustering and diversity, QSAR and predictive modeling, 3D alignment and docking, and writing cheminformatics software. It is aimed at life scientists, computer scientists, scientific librarians and other practitioners in both industry and academia who need a rapid, flexible introduction to this field, at low cost relative to traditional courses, and with maximum flexibility - not requiring attendance at lectures or submission of assignments by a set date. The guide is suitable for:
The guide is provided in PDF format, and is split into 12 lessons, each focusing on a particular area of cheminformatics. The first six are focused on the foundational aspects of the field, such as representing 2D structures, and the remaining six cover more advanced applications in the field. Each lesson details learning objectives and concludes with a set of questions that are designed to be thought provoking, with responses and answers in a final chapter. The text is hyperlinked to current resources on the web, with references to pertinent external articles where appropriate. The areas covered are:
You can download a sample with the table of contents and first chapter here. On completing the guide, students are eligible to take an online test (will be available early March 2012). Upon achieving a satisfactory score, students will receive a certificate of completion (not associated with the University). Completion will also count as cheminformatics prerequisite experience for the Graduate Certificate and possibly enable a more flexible approach to the constituent courses.
The guide is written by David Wild., who has over 20 years experience in the field of cheminformatics, and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing. There he directs one of the few educational programs dedicated to cheminformatics, and leads a research group of approximately 15 students focused on large-scale data mining and aggregation of chemical and biological information. He is Editor-in-Chief (along with Chris Steinbeck at the EBI) of the Journal of Cheminformatics, and works as editorial advisor or reviewer to many journals. He is involved in several cheminformatics organizations including being a trustee of the Chemical Structure Association Trust and a member of the American Chemical Society. He has helped organize many conferences and symposia in this field. He is also the director of Wild Ideas Consulting, a small scientific computing company specializing in informatics and cheminformatics.