Department of Computer Science
The University of Western Ontario
London, Canada

CS 2125 g -- Introduction to Medical Computing
Course Outline -- Winter 2015

Course Description

Today, computers figure in every aspect of medicine, either as part of the supporting infrastructure or as an essential part of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This course is for students who wish to better understand how computers fill these roles and what are their potentials and limitations. Students are introduced to computing fundamentals as they relate to medical computing, following which a series of topics is covered. These include a selection from: health information technology systems and standards, data representation and privacy issues in medical databases, embedded software in medical instruments, computer-aided modelling, simulation and analysis in various medical domains, medical imaging, the use of computers in diagnosis including computer vision and expert systems, computer aided procedures and telemedicine.





CS 2124 a/b


Name: Stephen Watt
Office:MC 375
Office Hours:
Monday Kemi Ola (TA) 3:00-4:00 (MC 27a)
Tuesday Stephen Watt 11:35-12:20(MC 375)
Wednesday Kemi Ola (TA) 3:00-4:00 (MC 27a)
Thursday Stephen Watt 10:35-11:20(MC 375)
Friday Jon Demelo (TA) 11:30-1:30 (MC 240) Knock on the north door, close to the stairwell.
Other times by appointment.
Phone: 519-661-4244

Course Materials

Readings: Readings will be assigned during the course.

Course Website

Course Topics

Topics covered in the course include:

Class Schedule


Tuesdays 9:30-11:30, Thursdays 9:30-10:30 in TC 141.

TA Consulting Hours

Consulting hours will be posted on the course web site.

Computing Facilities

Each student will be given an account on the Computer Science Department undergraduate computing facility. In accepting the account, a student agrees to abide by the department's Rules of Ethical Conduct.

Student Evaluation

To be eligible to obtain a passing mark in the course, the weighted average of the midterm and final exam marks must be at least 50 % and the weighted average of the assignment marks must be at least 45 %.

To be eligible to achieve a final mark of 60% or higher in the course (i.e. to be eligible for Honours Programs), the final exam mark must be at least 50% and the weighted average of the assignment marks must be at least 50 %.

If for any reason an assignment is cancelled for the class, then the grades for the remaining assignments will be re-weighted so they still give 30% of the final grade.

The tentative date for the Midterm Exam is 24 February 2015, in class. No electronic devices will be allowed in the Midterm Exam. Students are allowed to bring one single-sided letter-size original hand-written page of notes.

The Final Exam will be as scheduled by the registrar's office during the April exam period. No electronic devices will be allowed in the Final Exam. Students are allowed to bring one single-sided letter-size original hand-written page of notes.

Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams may be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating.

There will be no makeup Midterm Exam, except for students requesting a Special Midterm Exam for religious reasons. These students must have notified the course instructor and filed documentation with their Dean's office at least 2 weeks prior to the Midterm Exam. If you miss the Midterm Exam for any other valid reason, follow the procedure for Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness as given below. If accommodation is approved by your Dean's office, your Final Exam mark will be re-weighted to include the weight of the Midterm Exam.

Assigned Work

Assignment Schedule (Tentative):
Assignment Description Dates Value
Assignment 1

300 word letter (1-3 paragraphs), written from the point of view of a doctor raising a question about medical records security.

Written in class
on Jan 20.
Assignment 2

1000 word report (about 1 and a half pages) on an aspect of telemedicine.

Assigned Jan 20.
Due Feb 9.
Assignment 3

Creating a dynamic web page comparing medical images.

Assigned Feb 10.
Due Mar 2.
Assignment 4

1200 word essay (about 2 pages) comparing two approaches to a medical computing problem.

Assigned Mar 3.
Due Mar 23.

Assignments are to be submitted electronically, as described at the time the assignment is given. This will include completing an Assignment Submission Form, which requires a student to declare the assignment to be his or her own work and affix his or her signature.

Late Assignment Policy:

An assignment loses 10% of its total possible value for each day late, except for the first assignment. Assignments more than 5 days late will not be accepted. If a student misses the class of the first assignment, then the remaining assignments will be re-weighted so they still give 30% of the final grade.

Each student begins the course with 5 virtual "late coupons". Each of these may be used to eliminate one day's late penalty, no questions asked. The assignment still be handed in within the allowable window, however (i.e. not more than 5 days late). Late coupons are non-transferable, can only be used to reduce late penalties, and may not be carried over to other courses.


Extensions may be granted only by the course instructor. If you have serious medical or compassionate grounds for an extension, you should follow the procedure for Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness as given above.

Assignment Marking:
Assignments will be marked by the teaching assistant(s) or the professor. Assignments will be graded for content, clarity and correctness of writing style.

Email Contact

You may contact the course instructor via e-mail with brief questions regarding course material or clarification of assignments. However, please first check the course website for answers to frequently asked questions, or to see if the information is already there, before e-mailing the instructor. You must include "CS2125" in the subject line (otherwise it might get filtered as spam). Please send E-mail from your UWO account and send E-mail in plain text format.

We will occasionally need to send email messages to the whole class, or to students individually. Email will be sent to the UWO email address assigned to students by Information Technology Services (ITS), i.e. your email address It is each student's responsibility to read this email on a frequent and regular basis, or to have it forwarded to an alternative email address if preferred. See the ITS website for directions on forwarding email.

You should note that email at ITS (your UWO account) and other email providers such as or may have quotas or limits on the amount of space they can use. If you let your email accumulate there, your mailbox may fill up and you may lose important email from your instructors.  Losing email that you have forwarded to an alternative email address is not an excuse for not knowing about the information that was sent.

Academic Accommodation for Medical Illness

If you are unable to meet a course requirement due to illness or other serious circumstances, you must provide valid medical or other supporting documentation to your Dean's office as soon as possible and contact your instructor immediately. It is the student's responsibility to make alternative arrangements with their instructor once the accommodation has been approved and the instructor has been informed. In the event of a missed final exam, a "Recommendation of Special Examination" form must be obtained from the Dean's Office immediately. For further information please see:

A student requiring academic accommodation due to illness should use the Student Medical Certificate when visiting an off-campus medical facility or request a Record's Release Form (located in the Dean's Office) for visits to Student Health Services. The form can be found here:

Accessibility Statement

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 661-2111 x 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.

Ethical Conduct

Scholastic offences are taken seriously and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: .

Plagiarism: Students must write their essays and assignments in their own words. Whenever students take an idea, or a passage from another author, they must acknowledge their debt both by using quotation marks where appropriate and by proper referencing such as footnotes or citations. Plagiarism is a major academic offence.

All assignments are individual assignments. You may discuss approaches to problems among yourselves; however, the actual details of the work (assignment coding, answers to concept questions, etc.) must be an individual effort.

The standard departmental penalty for assignments that are judged to be the result of academic dishonesty is, for the student's first offence, a mark of zero for the assignment, with an additional penalty equal to the weight of the assignment also being applied. You are responsible for reading and respecting the Computer Science Department's policy on Scholastic Offences and Rules of Ethical Conduct.

The University of Western Ontario uses software for plagiarism checking. Students may be required to submit their written work and programs in electronic form for plagiarism checking.

All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for detection of plagiarism. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between The University of Western Ontario and (


The role of tutoring is to help students understand course material. Tutors should not write assignments or take-home tests for the students who hire them. Having employed the same tutor as another student is not a legitimate defense against an accusation of collusion, should two students hand in assignments judged similar beyond the possibility of coincidence.