BHI Research Methods
MEBI 537, Winter 2013
Biomedical and Health Informatics is a broad, multi-disciplinary field. To propose, carry out, and report on research in this field, what are the appropriate methodologies that we apply?
In this course,
we will cover the breadth of research methodologies
used in our field. The course covers topics
including epistemology, causality, study design,
qualitative/quantitative research methods, and
research ethics. Recognizing the rapidly
changing nature of the information sciences, we also
introduce modeling, simulation, and statistical
challenges presented by high-throughput experimental
One important theme for the course is that research methods for BHI draws on diverse fields such as computer science, information science, biology, and medicine. Students will become more familiar with the contrasts between research carried out in different traditions, for example a randomized controlled trial in a clinical setting versus usability research that examines how people interact with technology and information from a qualitative perspective.
theme, all disciplines recognize the importance of evaluation -- how
do we know that our work is good, and successfully
answers the research questions that we care
about? We review different approaches to
evaluation of information systems, algorithms, and
other information resources.
Because of the breadth of methodologies covered, this course will not be sufficient to provide the depth needed to carry out Ph.D. research. However, it should provide you with the breadth of knowledge to (a) understand the types research methods you might employ, (b) understand how different research methodologies may answer different research questions, and (c) appreciate and understand the BHI literature, which uses this wide variety of research methodologies. Thus, the readings for the course will include a wide variety of examples from the recent scientific literature.
As a high-level course objective, it should improve your ability to recognize good, high-quality research, regardless of the research methodology used. In general, the course should help answer the question "What is good BHI research?"
Contact the instructor at: neila <REMOVE> uw.edu