Introduction to
Statistical Models in Sequence Analysis

Winter 2002

Laboratory of Statistics and Computational Biology
Department of Statistics, University of Munich


Instructor: Korbinian Strimmer (email:

Time: Every Monday at 15:15 during winter term 2002.
Place: Seminar room, 1st floor, Ludwigstr. 33.



This course provides an overview over biological sequence analysis, with special emphasis on evolutionary bioinformatics and statistical aspects. Among the topics covered are Markov substitution models, inference of gene trees, construction of sequence alignments, some aspects of population genetics etc. (see schedule below). All lectures will be in German.

This course counts as a "Wahlplichtveranstaltung (2V)" in the LMU/TUM Bioinformatics course.



Some background in molecular biology, statistics and computer science is advantageous.



Note that the first meeting will be on Monday 21 October (and not on 14 October) because of room restrictions.

Day Topic
21.10.2002 Introduction and course overview
28.10.2002 Molecular biology of DNA, genes and genomes
4.11.2002 Principles of molecular evolution
11.11.2002 Pairwise and multiple alignment
18.11.2002 Estimating evolutionary distances
25.11.2002 Gene trees (I): distance and cluster methods
2.12.2002 Gene trees (II): likelihood methods
9.12.2002 Gene trees (III): hypothesis tests, bootstrap and MCMC
16.12.2002 Practical computer session
Winter Break
13.1.2003 Recombination
20.1.2003 Coalescent theory
27.1.2003 Gene finding
3.2.2003 Class exam (written test)


Course Textbooks and Materials:

R. Durbin, S. Eddy, A. Krogh and G. Mitchison. 1998. Biological sequence analysis: probabilistic models of proteins and nucleic acids. Cambridge University Press.

D. Balding, M. Bishop and C. Cannings. 2001. Handbook of Statistical Genetics. Wiley.


Internet links:

As additional material the following online tutorials about biological sequence analysis and evolutionary bioinformatics are recommended:


Last modified:
January 18, 2003