'Nucleotide Composition Analysis on Evolution of Structural Complexity in RNA Secondary Structure' - COMP 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Jerome Waldispühl

Supervisor's Email: jeromew [at] cs.mcgill.ca

Supervisor's Phone: +1-514-398-5018

Supervisor's Website: http://www.cs.mcgill.ca/~jeromew/

Supervisor's department: Computer Science

Course number: COMP 396 (Computer Science)

Term: Winter 2013-2014

Project start date: Monday, January 6, 2014

Project end date: Friday, April 11, 2014

Project title: Nucleotide Composition Analysis on Evolution of Structural Complexity in RNA Secondary Structure

Project description (50-100 words suggested): This project will use evolutionary computational simulations to study the relationship between nucelotide composition and RNA secondary structure complexity. Since secondary structure is essential to the nature of a molecule's function, we aim at understanding primary sequence composition from an adaptive perspective. We will be writing programs to simulate natural selection of RNA molecules under a variety of conditions. These conditions include nucleotide availability restrictions, varying mutation rates, thermodynamic stability selection, etc. From these simulations we will compute statistics describing the complexity and other properties of the evolved structures.

Prerequisite: 1 term completed at McGill + CGPA of 3.0 or higher; or permission of instructor.

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): The final grade shall be based on a midterm progress report (30%), an oral presentation on the findings (20%) and a final written report (50%).

Project status: This project is taken. The professor has no more '396' projects this term.

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves NEITHER animal subjects, nor human subjects, nor biohazardous substances, nor radioactive materials, nor handling chemicals, nor using lasers.