Guía Docente 2020-21


Id.: 33375
Subject type: OBLIGATORIA
Year: 3 Teaching period: Primer Cuatrimestre
Credits: 3 Total hours: 75
Classroom activities: 32 Individual study: 43
Main teaching language: Inglés Secondary teaching language: Castellano


In the digital era, the data volume grows exponentially, and its curation, analysis and visualization have become a relevant aspect for extracting and visualizing meaningful information. This course introduces to the student the key aspects of visual design, aesthetics and vector graphics formats. The student will learn tools for data curation and generation of static and dynamic visualizations using Python. The student will handle visualizer and data structure, transforming them into effective visualization and information. Finally, specific tools and libraries for Bioinformatics will be introduced such as hive plots, circular genomic plots and tree plots.


General programme competences G01 Use learning strategies autonomously for their application in the continuous improvement of professional practice.
G02 Perform the analysis and synthesis of problems of their professional activity and apply them in similar environments.
G03 Cooperate to achieve common results through teamwork in a context of integration, collaboration and empowerment of critical discussion.
G04 Reason critically based on information, data and lines of action and their application on relevant issues of a social, scientific or ethical nature.
G05 Communicate professional topics in Spanish and / or English both orally and in writing.
G06 Solve complex or unforeseen problems that arise during the professional activity within any type of organisation and adapt to the needs and demands of their professional environment.
G07 Choose between different complex models of knowledge to solve problems.
G09 Apply information and communication technologies in the professional field.
G10 Apply creativity, independence of thought, self-criticism and autonomy in the professional practice.
Specific programme competences E02 Develop the use and programming of computers, databases and computer programs and their application in bioinformatics.
E03 Apply the fundamental concepts of mathematics, logic, algorithmics and computational complexity to solve problems specific to bioinformatics.
E04 Program applications in a robust, correct, and efficient way, choosing the paradigm and the most appropriate programming languages, applying knowledge about basic algorithmic procedures and using the most appropriate types and data structures.
E05 Implement well-founded applications, previously designed and analysed, in the characteristics of the databases.
E06 Apply the fundamental principles and basic techniques of intelligent systems and their practical application in the field of bioinformatics.
E07 Apply the principles, methodologies and life cycles of software engineering to the development of a project in the field of bioinformatics.
E12 Apply the principles and techniques of protein computational modelling to predict their biological function, their activity or new therapeutic targets (Structural Bioinformatics, Computational Toxicology).
E13 Apply omics technologies for the extraction of statistically significant information and for the creation of relational databases of biodata that can be updated and publicly accessible to the scientific community.
E14 Use programming languages, most commonly used in the field of Life Sciences, to develop and evaluate techniques and/ or computational tools.
E15 Infer the evolutionary history of genes and proteins through the creation and interpretation of phylogenetic trees.
E16 Plan linkage and association studies for medical and environmental purposes.
E17 Induce complex relationships between samples by applying statistical and classification techniques.
E18 Apply statistical and computational methods to solve problems in the fields of molecular biology, genomics, medical research and population genetics.
E21 Apply computational and data processing techniques for the integration of physical, chemical and biological concepts and data for the description and/ or prediction of the activity of a substance in a given context.


The course will be delivered in English language. Academic reading and writing skills are expected from the students. Theory lectures will be completed with programming examples and practices/ projects will require programing in Python, so students should have general programming knowledge. Basic knowledge of mathematics and statistics are also required.


Subject contents:

1 - Introduction to data visualization
    1.1 - Basic concepts of visual design.
    1.2 - Figure design considerations and strategies.
    1.3 - Image formats.
2 - Tools and libraries for data visualization
    2.1 - Review of Python
    2.2 - Data preparation with Python
    2.3 - Introduction to MatPlotLib and Seaborn
    2.4 - Interactive graphics with Bokeh
3 - Basic data representations
    3.1 - Comparison plots
    3.2 - Relations plots
    3.3 - Composition plots
    3.4 - Distribution plots
4 - Bioinformatic plots
    4.1 - Python libraries for Bioinformatics
    4.2 - Hive plots, Pylogenetic Trees, Graphs and Circular genomic plots

Subject planning could be modified due unforeseen circumstances (group performance, availability of resources, changes to academic calendar etc.) and should not, therefore, be considered to be definitive.


Teaching and learning methodologies and activities applied:

Magistral lectures will be used to explain the different aspects of the subject and encouraged to be highly dynamic and interactive with visual examples and codes. Small exercises will be solved during class in order to consolidate the concepts.

The subject is highly practical, therefore the Magistral lectures schedule will be altered with workshop sessions where the students consolidate and practice the subject concepts mixing problem-based and project-based learning approaches.

Additionally, a practical session where the students will put in practice the concepts of the subject using a project-based learning approach.

The subject requires a high practical effort from the student, and it is important to follow the concepts and exercises during the presential lectures. Additionally, the students will have via PDU many proposed exercises by the teacher with small tasks and challenges for autonomous learning. As a matter of that, the lecturer will be available to students during the tutorial schedule to help them in all matters concerning the course.

Student work load:

Teaching mode Teaching methods Estimated hours
Classroom activities
Master classes 16
Workshops 5
Laboratory practice 2
Assessment activities 2
Workshop webinars 5
Tutorials 2
Individual study
Individual study 12
Individual coursework preparation 18
Recommended reading 6
Individual exercises 5
Collaborative activities 2
Total hours: 75


Calculation of final mark:

Individual coursework: 30 %
Final exam: 50 %
Continuous assessment: 15 %
Test: 5 %
TOTAL 100 %

*Las observaciones específicas sobre el sistema de evaluación serán comunicadas por escrito a los alumnos al inicio de la materia.


Basic bibliography:

WILKE, Claus O. Fundamentals of Data Visualization: O’Reilly Media, 2019
DÖBLER, M. The Data Visualization Workshop: Packt Publishing 2020

Recommended bibliography:

TUFTE, E.R. The Visual display of quantitative information: Graphics Press 1983
JOLLY, K. Hands-on data visualization with bokeh: Packt Publishing 2018
BASSI, S. Python for Bioinformatics: Chapman & Hall/ CRC 2010

Recommended websites:

Python documentation
MatPlotLib documentation
Seaborn documentation
Bokeh documentation
BioPython documentation
Cognitive Class MOOC: Applied Data Science with Python