Introduction to Terra (The Course)
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Course Info

This course includes 1 attempt.

The health and life sciences data revolution has arrived. Accurate and inexpensive genome sequencing is a reality, high-resolution imaging is becoming routine, and clinical data is increasingly available in machine-readable formats. These breakthroughs bring us to the threshold of a new era in biomedicine, one where the data sciences hold the potential to propel our understanding and treatment of human disease.

Enter Terra (, a scalable platform for biomedical research. Terra's mission is to enable the next generation of collaborative biomedical research by building an open platform that connects researchers to each other and to the datasets and tools they need to achieve scientific breakthroughs. This course is meant to provide a guided learning experience that gives you a foundational understanding of Terra and the key concepts underpinning its principles and intended applications.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

1) Describe Terra's goals and its guiding principles,

2) Name the types of analysis that you can do in Terra,

3) Define key cloud computing components that will enable you to work in Terra,

4) Securely access Terra with your own account,

5) Access Terra support to learn more and get help when you need it,

6) Articulate your next steps to getting started with Terra.

This course is authored by the Data Sciences Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Terra is developed by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in collaboration with Microsoft and Verily.


Course Material

  • Introduction
  • Course goals
  • Next: Leanpub logistics
  • Leanpub logistics
  • Course materials
  • Course discussion
  • Acknowledgements
  • Terra overview
  • Video assignment
  • Next step: Cloud-native bioinformatics
  • Cloud-native bioinformatics
  • Reading assignment: Why work in the cloud?
  • Reading assignment: New to cloud
  • Quiz 1: Working in the Cloud in Terra
  • icon/quiz Created with Sketch.
    Quiz 13 attempts allowed
  • Quiz 1 solutions
  • Next: Intro to Workspace
  • What are workspaces?
  • Video assignment: Intro to Terra Workspaces
  • Reading assignment: Types of analyses in Terra
  • Quiz 2: Terra Workspaces
  • icon/quiz Created with Sketch.
    Quiz 23 attempts allowed
  • Quiz 2 answers
  • Next: Data in the cloud
  • Terra and data in the cloud
  • Reading assignment: Terra architecture
  • Quiz: Terra architecture
  • icon/quiz Created with Sketch.
    Quiz 33 attempts allowed
  • Quiz 3 answers
  • Next: Create an account (hands on)
  • Exercise 1: Create a Terra account
  • Reading assignment: Account setup
  • Next steps: Getting help
  • Learning more and getting help
  • Terra Support Center
  • Community Forum
  • Talk to us directly
  • Intro to Terra course wrapup
  • Course summary
  • Course survey
  • Next: Set up billing
  • Take another course

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