CMSC 491/691 - Clinical Informatics, Spring 2013



Time and Location


This course will provide a broad exposure to the field of Clinical Informatics. The course is designed to be applicable to students whose experience is limited to Computer and Information Sciences, as well as those whose experience is limited to the Biological Sciences. The course focuses on the expanding role of information technology for the delivery of healthcare, and provides a theoretical and practical introduction to the socio-technical issues involved in the assessment, implementation, and management of these systems. Topics covered include electronic health record systems, patient management systems, clinical decision support, clinical image processing, clinical data mining, personalized medicine, and the software engineering challenges specific to the development of these systems.

Prerequisite - CMSC 341 or BIO 303 or consent of the instructor.

Course Rationale - The traditional role of information technology in the field of healthcare has been limited to clerical and administrative tasks, with little or no consideration for clinical decision support or the delivery of care. Current courses in Medical or Healthcare Informatics have tended to reflect this limited perspective of clerical and administrative tasks. The advent of Clinical Informatics as a board-certified medical subspecialty is evidence of the expanding role of information and computer science in the actual delivery of care. This course provides a broad overview of these new application areas with a focus on software engineering challenges.



Graduate Students

Undergraduate Students

Grading Scale

Student Responsibilities

Academic Integrity - Academic honesty is expected at all times in order to pass this course. Any incident of given or receiving aid on an exam or assignment, plagiarizing, falsifying, infringing on the rights of others to fair access, failing to report violations that are witnessed, failing to seek clarification when proper boundaries are unclear, or violating any other commonly understood principle of academic honesty may result in a grade of 'F' for the course. Refer to the UMBC site for academic integrity:

Attendance - You are expected to attend all classes and be on time. If you miss a class, you are responsible for getting the notes, handouts, and any verbal information given during class from a fellow classmate or the course web site. Habitual absences or tardiness may be factored into your final grade. The instructor reserves the right to give pop quizzes, if a lack of attendance becomes a problem. In addition, students who compromise the integrity of  the class through talking or other disruptive behavior may be asked to leave and may have their final grades reduced accordingly.

Material - You are responsible for all material covered in class, even if it is not in the textbook. You are responsible for all material in the textbook, even if it is not covered in class. You are responsible for completing all assigned readings before they are is covered in class.

Late Work - Late work may be accepted, at the instructor's discretion, with prior permission, and with a grade penalty of 10% a day. No makeup exams will be given, except for unforseen emergencies (with documentation of the emergency provided upon request), an unavoidable conflict such as the birth of a child (with prior approval given by the instructor), or conflict with a sanctioned UMBC event (with prior approval given by the instructor).

Borderline Grades - Borderline grades will not be automatically rounded up. In other words, 89.9 is a "B". However, borderline grades may be resolved by class participation, other intangibles, and whether all requirements were completed on time. Please note that no grades will be rounded up for students who missed any assignments.

Important Dates (subject to change)

Syllabus (subject to change)

Biomedical Informatics Resources


Submitting Homework -  You can email it to the instructor, or hand it in when you are in class. Assignments need to be submitted by 11:59pm on their due dates.

Format - Homework can be handwritten or typed. If it is typed, please use Microsoft Word, PDF, or text  format. Although this is only a guide, and there will be exceptions, each question will likely take 1/4 to 1/2 of a page to answer.

Correctness - For many of the assigned questions, there will be likely more than one correct answer. The purpose of these questions is to get you thinking, and to see that you understand important principles.