MIT OpenCourseWare


Course Overview

The objective of this subject is to teach the design of contemporary information systems for biological and medical data. These data are growing at a prodigious rate, and new information systems are required. This subject will cover examples from biology and medicine to illustrate complete life cycle information systems, beginning with data acquisition, following to data storage and finally to retrieval and analysis. Design of appropriate databases, client-server strategies, data interchange protocols, and computational modeling architectures will be covered. Students are expected to have some familiarity with scientific application software and a basic understanding of at least one contemporary programming language (C, C++, Java®, Lisp, Perl, Python, etc.).

This H-level graduate course is also open to motivated seniors with a strong interest in biomedical engineering and information system design and the ability to carry out a significant independent project.


1.00, 6.001, or experience with web-based computing.


There is no course textbook. Readings will be provided from the contemporay literature for each class session. Readings are also incorporated into some of the homework assignments.

Term Project

Each student in the course is required to present a term project that illustrates the use of the course material in a real information technology case in biology or medicine. The actual content of the case can vary depending upon the student's interests and existing skills. Projects can range from general studies of a class of problems and the recommendation of a solution to detailed implementations in running software.


Prior to the term project, students will complete four homework assignments.