Real quick: what is bioinformatics?

What I do is bioinformatics or biomedical informatics.  It is a field devoted to the creation and application of computational methods for the acquisition, representation, retrieval, and analysis of  biomedical data and  knowledge.

Basically, biological and medical data is exploding, and requires computational analysis to really fully understand it.  People in bioinformatics specialize in analyzing large amounts of data in order to make discoveries and help other researchers make discoveries.   The activity of building and validating tools makes us engineers.  The activity of using these tools to create new knowledge makes us scientists.
Computational biology is a related field that uses computers to make discoveries in biology.  Computational biologists may or may not want to create enduring tools for others to use.  Bioinformaticians generally want to do that for sure.
There is a society for bioinformatics and computational biology.

There are a number of conferences (see the society web pages).  My favorite is the one I help organized called Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing.

There are many journals in the field (see the society web pages).
Stanford has a primo program in this area that I direct.

Stanford has an undergraduate major that allows students to get started in this area.


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