Mizzou Advantage Postdoctoral Fellow - Food for the Future
In his graduate study at MU, Zheng Wang used bioinformatics to analyze the genetic information of maize and soybeans and find out which genes are responsible for higher crop yields. He received his PhD in computer science in August 2012, and is now serving as the Mizzou Advantage Postdoctoral Fellow for the Food for the Future area.
This fall, Zheng is teaching two computer science courses, Object-oriented Programming (Java) and Production Language (Perl), to an interdisciplinary mix of undergraduate and graduate students. He is excited by the challenge of making computer science relevant for a diverse range of fields.
In the Perl course, for instance, his students have written a program designed to analyze a recent speech from former president Bill Clinton.
“I ask the students to print how many unique words he had used in his speech, how many times he used it, and rank these words by number of appearance,” said Wang. “It helps them learn the programming language, but it also shows journalism and political science students a new way to research.”
Zheng also helped design an online course, practical Computing for Biologists, and in the spring he will debut an all-new course he’s designed that explores social networks through the lens of graph theory.
More about Zheng can be found on his website.