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Elec Eng 4BC3: Modelling of Biological Systems

Elec Eng 4BC3: Modelling of Biological Systems
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Elec Eng 4BC3: Modelling of Biological Systems

Elec Eng 4BC3: Modelling of Biological Systems

This course, in a nutshell, is an expansion of the Introduction to Biomedical Engineering course you should have previously taken if you're enrolled in the stream with the same name. This course should give you all the tools you need to approach most biological systems in order to encapsulate and quantify it for mathematical modelling. While it sounds heavily mathy by my description, it's quite qualitative.

There was a midterm, 3 assignments, 2 presentations, and an exam (tests open book).
Professor is highly approachable and personable; the course is quite fun, even if night-class (was when I took it) is a put-off for some people.

Course Structure:
1 lecture a week (3 hour night class), one tutorial

Tutorial addresses practice problems, assignment preparation, examples of concepts shown in class, or just random things the TA thinks are neato.

Course website is kept up-to-date, lectures may or may not be uploaded at time of lecture.

Math courses, MATLAB knowledge, anatomy and physiology course, inorganic and organic chemistry, intro to biomed and writing skills.


Your typical night lecture, usually ending a bit before the three hour mark, with a 10 minute break in the middle. Lectures are very relaxed and survivable, as the professor who taught it when I took it (Dr. Noseworthy) is a very charismatic guy and knows how to approach topics well. He knows when to gloss over certain information and doesn't spend time belaboring concepts taught in other classes but will go into detail when necessary.

Course Material:
Textbook - highly optional (won't aid much for assignments or tests)
Lecture notes - will be your main source of studying or used on tests (see below)
Supplementary Notes - professor sometimes uses excerpts of textbooks to help with concepts

Midterm test - open book for paper notes and textbook (no electronic devices), highly recommended you get the course notes organized and printed out; short answer, long answer, and fill-in-the-blanks (practice tests available). Short answers could be explaining a process such as how to model a random physiological process, drawing on parallels to lecture content. Long answers can be the same, or a derivation of something; this year it was modelling an infant's cardiac system using the equivalent circuit. Fill in answers will come from the lecture notes, such as random facts -- typically useful stuff and not dumb triva, like most tests that use this type of question.

Teaching/Seminar (x2) - presentation on a topic of your choice (within reason) which you'll spend 20-30 minutes teaching the class about in a group of three. Order of presentation was chosen at random and you get approximately 2 weeks to prepare your content, so its good to think of a topic long ahead of time. Lots of research papers to look at.

Assignments (x3) - heavily focused on MATLAB and analytics (figuring out things by hand) but open-ended; fairly marked, so as long as you explain a lot, you can get many part marks

Exam - exact same format as midterm (practice tests available)

Overall Impression:

This course is generally fun and it's not too difficult to get a decent mark if you put in the effort, but the take-away isn't that great -- everything is very superficial and really just gives you a look into concepts you could be using with graduate work. This is a good course to take if you need a bump in mark without putting in too many hours studying.
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