External Online Resources

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There are many useful online learning resources out there. Here is a list of links that have been recommended to us. If you have been using a website and found it to be helpful, please let us know and we'll add it to the list.


Light microscopy has become one of the most useful tools in the life sciences. This free online comprehensive course begins with the basics of optics, proceeds through transmitted light microscopy, covers the various methods of imaging fluorescent samples, describes how cameras work and image processing, and concludes with some of the latest advances in light microscopy. In addition to lectures, they also provide labs (filmed at a microscope) and short tips, so as to cover pragmatics of how to use microscopes. Assessments are provided for each lecture. Enjoy learning microscopy!

Recommended by: Yi-Jyun Luo.


Rosalind is a platform for learning bioinformatics and programming through problem solving. The topics include: computational mass spectrometry, alignment, dynamic programming, genome assembly, genome rearrangements, phylogeny, probability, string algorithms and others.

The basics of Python can be learned there as well.

Recommended by: Sasha Mikheyev. 


The Department of Chemistry at MIT is one of the nation's top chemistry departments. It has an illustrious history in sharing the MIT tradition of excellence, and it has provided national leadership in chemical education and research throughout the century.

The Department's strong record of achievement is solidly based on its pioneering advances in chemical research, its success in incorporating these advances into teaching and research programs, and its close relationship to government and industry.

Recommended by: Sébastien Lapointe.

Programming and Data Science


DataCamp offers interactive R and Python courses on topics in data science, statistics, and machine learning. Learn from a team of expert teachers in the comfort of your browser with video lessons and fun coding challenges.

We have access to an Academic Group. Sign up here if you want to join it.

Recommended by: Miles Desforges.


SQL exercises

This site will help everyone to gain or improve skills in building SQL Data Manipulation Language statements. To train you will have to build yourself the SQL statements for retrieval or modification of specific data required in the exercises.

Recommended by: Jeremie Gillet. Sometimes the English is a little rough, but the exercices are great.

Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems.

The motivation for starting Project Euler, and its continuation, is to provide a platform for the inquiring mind to delve into unfamiliar areas and learn new concepts in a fun and recreational context.

Recommended byJeremie Gillet. Perfect for learning a new language or new algorithms.


This is the official National Instruments introductory course for LabVIEW. It contains many tutorial videos and exercises. This links to the Core 1 course, but more advanced courses are also available.

This course is not free, but OIST students can get access to it by creating an NI account and entering OIST's LabVIEW serial number. Ask IT for help if you need it.

Recommended by: Faisal Mahmood.

Coursera Machine Learning

Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. Many researchers also think it is the best way to make progress towards human-level AI.

In this class, you will learn about the most effective machine learning techniques, and gain practice implementing them and getting them to work for yourself. More importantly, you'll learn about not only the theoretical underpinnings of learning, but also gain the practical know-how needed to quickly and powerfully apply these techniques to new problems. Finally, you'll learn about some of Silicon Valley's best practices in innovation as it pertains to machine learning and AI.

Recommended by: Hiroaki Hamada. One of the best Coursera courses.



Cody is a MATLAB Central game that challenges and expands your knowledge of MATLAB and Simulink. As a web service provided to the community, Cody helps you sharpen your programming skills by solving problems and interacting with other members of the community.

Recommended by: Thomas Nieddu.