Course Level
CS2
Knowledge Unit
Algorithms and Design
Collection Item Type
Assignment
Synopsis

In this activity, students use hierarchical clustering and k-means clustering to find clusters of similar genes, which can be used to predict genes that can affect certain cancers. Students use a priority queue to find close pairs of objects to use in clustering, and then use other data structures to perform the algorithm. This assignment is excellent for students that would appreciate synthesizing several data structures with a non-trivial algorithm with real-world applications.

Recommendations

Incorporate Student Choice by allowing students to find their own data set to run clustering analysis on.

Engagement Highlights

By explaining the ideas of clustering in the context of identifying cancerous genes, the activity Employs Meaningful and Relevant Content. By using real genetic data and explaining how these methods contributed to the field of medicine, this assignment Makes Interdisciplinary Connections to CS.

Materials and Links

Computer Science Details

Computer Science Topic(s)
clustering
priority queues
algorithm
object-oriented programming/OOP
array
Programming Language
Java

Material Format and Licensing Information

Material Format
HTML
Technology Platform Required
Desktop
Creative Commons License
Unknown

Author's Institutional Information

Institution Type
Universities (Doctoral and Research)
Community Type
Rural