Course Syllabus


The course provides an overview of the field of biomedical and health informatics. The overall goal of the course is to prepare students for broader understanding of the field in more specific areas, by developing basic understanding of the current areas of the field and relating methods of various topic areas to the field and to biomedical science in general.



By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the relevance of different topic areas to the field of biomedical and health informatics;
  • Identify the importance of different contributions to the field;
  • Describe the maturity of different areas and contributions in the field;
  • Assess contribution areas of the field in terms of their overall and expected contribution;
  • Independently analyze a relevant contribution in the field in terms of its area of relevance, influence, maturity and contribution trajectory.


The course material is covered through class lectures and discussions, assigned readings, assignments, and in-class activities.  Assignments are intended to reinforce the other learning materials, and to provide opportunities to directly apply the concepts discussed.  For some selected topics, experts in the field will provide short lectures that identify important areas of contribution.



Primary text: 

Biomedical Informatics: Computer Applications in Health Care and Biomedicine (Health Informatics), Shortliffe EH, Cimino JJ.  Fourth edition, 2014.

Supplemental readings may also be required.



The grading is divided up into four parts.

Part 1: The first part is the weekly assignments, consisting of various assignments based on the material covered in class.  Assignments are intended to provide “hands-on” experience to reinforce concepts and provide a foundation for other course content. Assignments will account for 60% of the final grade.

Part 2: The second part of the grading is the topic presentation. Each student will select a specific topic from a list of defined topics and present a brief (10 minute) review of the topic, relating it to the general areas of the field. This presentation will account for 10% of the final grade.

Part 3: The third part of the grading is the final exam.  There will be a final exam for the course, that will be distributed on Wednesday December 9, 2020, and due one week later on December 16. The exam is a take-home test, with a series of short answers designed to test the general understanding of the content of the course. The final exam will account for 20% of the final grade.

Part 3: 10% of the grade will be determined by class participation. Since this is a class involving in-class discussions, it is important for students to be actively participating in the learning environment. 



The current schedule of topics for the course (subject to change) is as follows:

Date Topic Related Textbook Chapter
30-Sep Introduction to course; Informatics as a topic 1
5-Oct EHRs 12
7-Oct Standards & terminologies 7
12-Oct HIE 13
14-Oct Probability theory and decision making 3
19-Oct Clinical decision support 22
21-Oct NLP Part 1 8
26-Oct NLP Part 2 8
28-Oct Predictive analytics and secondary use 2
2-Nov Public health; Global health 16
4-Nov Management & use of biomedical data 5, 14
9-Nov Information retrieval and libraries; clinical research informatics 21, 26
11-Nov VETERANS DAY (No class)
16-Nov AMIA (No class)
18-Nov AMIA (No class)
23-Nov Cognitive informatics 4, 17
25-Nov Bioinformatics 24
30-Nov Translational bioinformatics 25
2-Dec Education 23
7-Dec Imaging 9, 20
9-Dec Informatics and equity; Policy 27




Course Summary:

Date Details Due