About APEX


The Applied Programming Experiences (APEX) program aims to expose diverse students to computer programming by embedding Python-based computing modules into existing introductory statistics and biology courses

Technology platform

  • APEX computing modules and supplemental materials are freely available to instructors via the Canvas learning management system. See our Resources page for how to get started.
  • APEX computing modules use the Python programming language via Google Colab.
    • Python is one of the world’s most popular programming languages and has the added benefit of being free to use.
    • Python code can be written in many different programming environments. We use Google Colab for several reasons: it’s free, it runs in the browser, and it requires no downloading or installing.

Domains being targeted

To reach a wide number of diverse students, the APEX program targets two popular lower-division courses: introductory statistics and introductory biology.

  • Introductory statistics
    • Many statistics classes utilize expensive and/or outdated technology for performing statistical exercises, such as graphing calculators or software requiring students or institutions to purchase licenses.
    • The APEX program allows instructors to continue teaching the same content with free tools (Python and Colab) that have greater relevance to today’s job market.
  • Introductory biology
    • Bioinformatics is the use of computational tools to understand important questions in the field of biology. It can provide insights into many areas such as genomics, molecular biology, neuroscience, physiology, microbiology, ecology, and evolution.
    • The APEX program allows instructors to introduce students to the rapidly expanding and interdisciplinary field via a small number of Python-based modules. 
  • Introductory research methods (new!)
    • Research inherently involves data analysis and statistics. We are currently adapting APEX statistics materials for use in introductory research methods courses.