Carnegie Mellon University

 Phillip Compeau

Associate Teaching Professor and Undergraduate Program Director, Ray and Stephanie Lane Computational Biology Department


Ray and Stephanie Lane Computational Biology Department, SCS
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Gates-Hillman Center 7403

Work Phone: 412-268-7876


Administrative Assistant: Tara Seman

 Dr. Compeau  is the Assistant Department Head and an Associate Teaching Professor in the Computational Biology Department.  He directs the undergraduate program and co-founded (with Josh Kangas) the PreCollege Program in Computational Biology.

Dr. Compeau also teaches a variety of courses, and he is passionate about how online and offline educational materials can inform and enrich each other as we build an effective 21st Century classroom.  He completed a Ph.D. in mathematics at UC San Diego, where he co-founded Rosalind, a platform for learning computational biology and algorithms through problem solving that has reached over a million learners. Phillip also helped lead the development of the first massive open online course (MOOC) in computational biology in 2013, which has since grown into the Bioinformatics Specialization on Coursera. He is the co-author (with Pavel Pevzner) of Bioinformatics Algorithms: An Active Learning Approach, a bestselling textbook in computational biology that has been adopted by 220 instructors in over 45 countries. 

During his time at CMU, Dr. Compeau has continued to develop online education projects. Biological Modeling is a free and open online course teaching learners how to model biological systems at multiple scales, from the molecular to the cellular. Its companion text, Biological Modeling: A Short Tour, was published via crowdfunding donations from several hundred learners and is available in both print and electronic formats. And he is the founder of Programming for Lovers, an open course that offers a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of to lovers of science.

Highlighted Publications

P. Compeau, M. Inan, N. Lee, S. Li, C. Lee. Biological Modeling: A Short Tour. Philomath Press, (2023)

P. Compeau. Establishing a computational biology flipped classroom. PLoS Computational Biology 15 (5), (2019)

P. Compeau, P. Pevzner. Bioinformatics Algorithms: An Active Learning Approach (3rd Edition), Textbook (2018)

P. Compeau, PA. Pevzner. Life After MOOCs. Communications of the ACM 58:10 41-44, (2015)