WPI’s MS program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) will prepare you to become a truly interdisciplinary scientist with expertise in computer science, informatics, and statistics on the one hand, and life sciences on the other.

While other schools offer Bioinformatics as a concentration within a Biology program, WPI’s BCB department draws equally from three disciplines—Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics. You will become versed in each and specialize in one, working alongside expert researchers to translate staggering volumes of biological data into new knowledge and uncover meaningful ways to improve health care and the environment.



Through our well-rounded curriculum, you will be expected to develop a base of knowledge In Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics, but how you do so is up to you—choose courses from virology to environmental challenges; design of software systems to artificial intelligence; and Bayesian statistics to regression analysis.

You can also take unique interdisciplinary courses in topics including biovisualization, biomedical database mining, simulation in biology, and statistical methods in genetics and bioinformatics.

No matter what topics you choose, you will have many chances to apply your growing knowledge to solve real problems through hands-on projects. You will also synthesize your learning with a research-based thesis or industrial internship.


  • Combinatorics of sequences
  • Comparative genomics
  • Data mining and pattern recognition
  • Data visualization
  • Genome-wide association studies
  • Machine learning
  • Mathematical biology
  • Simulation of biological systems

Faculty Profile

Faculty Profiles

Elizabeth F. Ryder

Elizabeth Ryder

Associate Professor
Biology & Biotechnology

I have a long-standing interest in applying computer science and mathematics to solve biological problems. I am currently the Associate Director of WPI’s Program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, and I am always looking for students with interests in this exciting interdisciplinary area. One of my goals in teaching biology is to help students to think more quantitatively about biological questions. A few years ago, my colleague Dr. Brian White of UMass Boston and I were awarded a grant from the NSF to develop a course, “Simulation in Biology”.

Emmanuel O. Agu

Emmanuel Agu

Professor-Computer Science
Computer Science

Emmanuel Agu is currently an associate professor in the computer science department at WPI having received his Masters and PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. His research interests are in the areas of computer graphics, mobile computing, and wireless networks. He is especially interested in research into how to use a smartphone as a platform to deliver better healthcare.

Mohamed Y. Eltabakh

Mohamed Eltabakh

Associate Professor
Computer Science

Professor Eltabakh’s research is in the broad area of Database Management Systems and Information Management. In particular, his work is in the areas of query processing and optimization, indexing techniques, scientific data management, and large-scale data analytics. Prof. Eltabakh is currently exploring possible extensions to both database management systems and Hadoop framework to support scientific applications and health-care systems. He is a member of the Database Systems Research Group (DSRG) and a faculty member of the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB) program.

Sarah D Olson

Sarah Olson

Associate Professor
Mathematical Sciences

At WPI, I enjoy teaching all courses fundamental to applied mathematics, scientific computing, and modeling. I look forward to mentoring students interested in working on areas in Mathematical Biology, Computational Biofluids, and Scientific Computing. I specialize in Mathematical Biology, understanding emergent properties of complex systems. The goals of these models are to understand the underlying biological processes and make predictions. Please visit my website to learn more about recent research projects.


Getting Involved

Getting Involved

Outside the classroom you may get involved in WPI’s diverse student activities—take part in student government, join a sports team for fun or competition, or further explore your interests in areas like programming and biotechnology through our many science and technology clubs.

Students walking around the fountain in the springtime

After Graduation