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Basic Computer Science for healthcare students: Half-time report

Reading time: 3 minutes

So, here I am sitting in front of my notebook, drawing pictures of my project to develop interactive exhibition panels at an imaginary museum. If this event happened ten years ago when I was in medical school, I wouldn’t be expecting this. But, since I am now in the health informatics programme, I should be more familiar with this kind of things, shouldn’t I?

If you happen to be having medical or health-related educational background, then during some period in the first semester, you will undergo basic computer science course at Stockholm University, since this programme is jointly held by KI and SU. The course will be 10 weeks long and counted for 15 credits. Each module within the course offers a unique approach that builds up my interest in the health informatics field.

Module 1 – History

As Theodore Roosevelt had said, “The more you know about the past, the better you are prepared for the future.” So, in the first week of basic computer science module, we got to learn the history of it. It’s interesting to know that computer science has just rapidly recently recognized as a field of science, even as now there has not yet a consensus of what branch this new field is held under, so each teaching institution could have a different perception on how they would administer it.

Module 2 – Enterprise Modelling and System Engineering

This topic is one that I have been expecting the most since I have been involved with it during my previous work. It kind of interesting on how we learn to describe the work processes within an entity, but rather by words, we present it in the form of figures consisting of boxes and lines. Also, we learn on the basic process of developing a software system, from assessing the requirement to assigning actors and their tasks within the system operation. This should put you to explore the structural and systematic thinking part of your brain. This topic also served as the basic knowledge which should lead us in the next module.

Module 3 – Database Methodology

After getting through the part of designing the model of how an entity works, then the model will be adopted when developing the database system. In this topic, we learned about, bare with me here, relation, schema, attributes, table, tuples, queries, normalization, keys, etc. In a such a brief period, I think we are not expected to suddenly become experts in the database, but rather grasp the conceptual knowledge of how to create a correct relational database schema that the data could be easily stored and called. To make it more contextual for us, here we were assigned to design the database schema of a library.

Module 4 – Human-Computer Interaction

This is when we get the assignment of designing interactive features within a museum in order to attract more visitors. Have you ever wonder why the display on your smartphone screen looked as it is or why a certain button in a machine is placed in a certain spot? That is some examples of the results of research in the human-computer interaction topic. Here, we were challenged to explore the creative part of the right hemisphere of our brain.


So, here is my report of the first half of Basic Computer Science course. Many interesting topics are coming. Until then…

You can read the second-part of my review of this course here.


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LinkedIn: Winner Ng


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