UBC DASH and DSI are Collaborating to Deliver MEDI 504A

October 21st, 2024 - December 4, 2024 | M/W; 1pm - 3pm, In-person at DHCC 10207

MEDI504 is a Special Topics course designed to develop literacy and conceptual understanding of data science to enable effective collaboration with data scientists as related to health research spanning the basic, clinical, population and health services.

UBC Calendar

Course Information

Dates: October 21, 2024 - December 4, 2024

Time: Monday and Wednesday; 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Location: In-person at DHCC 10207 (2775 Laurel St, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9, Room 10207) 

Credit: 1.5

Pre-requisite: STAT 545A Exploratory Data Analysis (September 3 – October 17, 2024) 

*Pre-requisite exemption requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the program office (medi.exptlmed@ubc.ca).

Learning Outcomes

This course targets students who are interested in how medical care can be transformed by “Big data”. The instructors will use real-life clinical use cases to motivate how clinical care can be enhanced by collecting unconventional data of various kinds and feeding such data to machine learning methods to build next-generation clinical tools. However, even with the appropriate data collected, the teaching team will describe the data science challenges that need to be overcome before the data can be used properly. This course will introduce the main concepts and methods in biostatistics, and machine learning, including unsupervised and supervised methods, and data visualization. Last but not least, there will be discussion of ethical issues, fairness issues, and other potential pitfalls of applying machine learning to medical care. 

The four major learning outcomes for the students are: 

  1. To examine examples of clinical use cases which would benefit from data science approaches.

  2. To explore concepts and methods in handling data of different kinds and in machine learning.

  3. To gain hands-on experience in using those methods in handling data of different kinds and in machine learning.

  4. To discuss the ethical and societal considerations when deploying such approaches in medical care.

Topics Schedule

Week 1

Overview & Course Deliverables

How to Speak the Language

Week 2

Data Interpretation Lab

Basic Biostatistics

Week 3

Basic Biostatistics Lab 

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Week 4

Break (No Class)

Week 5


Ethics Tutorial

Week 6

Critical Appraisal of Data Science in Health Studies

Critical Appraisal of Data Science Tutorial

Week 7

Introduction to Machine Learning

Machine Learning Lab

Course Instructors


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