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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Ira J Kalet
MEDED 531
Seattle Campus

Computing Concepts for Medical Informatics

Introduction to computing concepts underlying the solution of problems in medical information management, medical problem solving and medical informatics research. Algorithms, data structures, programming languages, object-oriented programming. Prerequisite: some prior experience with computer programming and application computers in medical care. Offered: A.

Class Description

Students will learn how to use programming ideas and methods to solve biomedical problems, some of which involve safety-critical application. The course will focus on abstract representations and analysis of them, rather than how to code algorithms and data structures. Examples from biology, medicine and health include representing knowledge about drug interactions, modeling molecular biology and anatomy with object oriented strategies, designing and analysing software for computer controlled medical machinery (radiation therapy), and others.

The course involves three hours weekly of lecture/discussion given by the instructor, and weekly homework assignments which are graded. The enrollment is generally small enough to allow for questions and discussion of programming examples and problem solutions.

Recommended preparation

Specific prerequisite skills are listed at the course web site. Previous programming experience is expected, at the level of CSE 142. Familiarity with multi-user computing environments (Unix), text editors, files, directories and commonly used operating system commands (list files, print, copy, etc.) is essential.

Class Assignments and Grading

The homework assignments are of two types, written problem solving and programming assignments. The programming assignments use the Common Lisp programming language, which will be introduced in the class in the first few lectures. A Common Lisp programming environment will be available to all students.

The course is graded; the grade is based on homework assignments and a final exam or project. The exam, when given, consists of problems or programming exercises similar to the homework. The project (when assigned) is a programming project that involves solving a biomedical problem in one of the areas studied in the course (or a related area).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information (course web)
Last Update by Ira J Kalet
Date: 10/20/2004