Computational Biology / Bioinformatics/Choosing a suitable major
I want to do a master and i am confused between computational science, bioinformatics, or computer-aided drug design. Can you advise me? Thank you
All these are related to computer based studies, but they differ in the scope of science that is done.
Computer-aided drug design deals with molecular modeling, in-silico drug-discovery and screening, prediction of activity, etc. If you are from chemistry background and interested in drug-design, you may be interested.
Bioinformatics is a broader field, and applies to all computer based analysis of biological data. Includes biological sequence/structure and other databases, methods of storing and retrieving data from them. Software to analyze the sequence data (like finding genes, polymorphisms, protein domains, gene phenotype relationships). It also includes the software to analyze biological data originating from various instruments. Development of algorithms to write computer code for these operations, etc. Some people work on developing algorithms and computer code for these various tasks, while other use the existing code to conduct analysis. It involves learning some computer programming.
Computational science on the other hand is more general, emerging field, which involves algorithms and modeling and simulation methods to solve problems in all fields including science, engineering and social sciences. It applies the techniques of numerical analysis from the computer science and mathematics fields to design models and simulations to solve problems.
So depending on your interest, if you are inclined towards analyzing biological data and develop algorithms to solve them, you can choose Bioinformatics. If you are interested in the field of drug-design and development you can choose it. Otherwise if you are more mathematical or engineering oriented you can choose Computational Science.