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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES-03

0508-INTRODUCTION TO COMPUTING

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

Learning Objectives

               Understanding the information revolution and its impact on medicine

               Understanding basic computer technology

               Limitations and ethics of information

 

Key Words and Terms


               Artificial Intelligence

               Bit

               Byte

               Central processing unit

               Computer hardware

               Computer language

               Computer Programs

               Computer Security

               Computer software

               Computer, mainframe

               Computer, minicomputer

               Computer, personal computer

               Computer, supercomputer

               Computer-assisted Decisions

               Computing Methodology

               Data dictionary

               Data set

               Database, hierarchical database

               Database, network database

               Database, relational database

               Information Retrieval

               Information Science

               Information Storage

               Information Systems

               Input device

               Internet

               Mathematical Computing

               Mathematical Statistics

               Medical Informatics

               Modem

               Network, Local Area Network

               Network, Metro Area Network

               Network, Wide Area Network

               Numerical Analysis

               Output device

               RAM

               Robotics

               Systems analysis

 

 


Unit Outline

INFORMATION REVOLUTION AND COMPUTER AGE:

A. Increased Generation and Use of Data

B. Storage of Large Data Sets

C. Processing Of Large Data Sets

D. Development of Statistical Methodology:

E. Development of Statistical Theory

 

INFORMATION SYSTEM

A. Components of an Information System

B. Database Management Systems

C. System Analysis and Design

D. Computer Programming

E. Ethical Problems

 

HISTORY OF COMPUTING

A. Ancient times

B. Earliest computing machine

C. The first computer

D. Mainframe and minicomputers

E. Personal computers

 

COMPUTER HARDWARE DEVELOPMENTS:

A. Types of Computers

B. Input and Output Devices

C. Central Processing Unit

D. Connectivity

E. Ergonomics

 

COMPUTER SOFTWARE:

A. Definition and Types of Software

B. Operating Systems

C. General Purpose Programs

D. Specialized Programs

E. Artificial Intelligence

 

UNIT SYNOPSIS

INFORMATION REVOLUTION AND THE COMPUTER AGE:

Data is used for operational, managerial and planning functions. Use of computers is facilitated by routine computerization of operational data. The invention of the computer enabling humans to handle large amounts of data has created an information revolution. New computers can manage (collection & storage) and analyze large amounts of data, a feat that was unthinkable a few years ago. The growth of computational techniques has enabled deeper and more sophisticated analyses. Availability of high speed and efficient computing has encouraged growth in statistical methodology and more sophisticated statistical analysis. This has in turn called for developments in statistical theory that is later translated into newer and more powerful analysis programs.

 

INFORMATION SYSTEM

An information system has 5 components: people, procedures software, hardware, and data. Database management systems (DBS) create, modify, and access data. Data elements are arrayed to make a record or an observation. Files are made up of several observations. Several files make a database. A data dictionary describes the structure of the data. A relational database is in the form of a table with rows and columns in the form of one-to-one. A hierarchical database is several layers of information in the form of one-to-many. A network database is a many-to-many architecture. A program is a series of instructions that the computer executes. Computer languages are at various levels of sophistication. Machine language and assembly language are in binary code. High level procedural languages are BASIC, Pascal, C, COBOL, and FORTRAN. Problem oriented languages are query languages used in searching databases. Natural language is usual human language that the computer cannot use directly. Ethical issues of privacy, accuracy, data ownership, data access, and security arise due to the large amount of personal information now kept on computers.

 

HISTORY OF COMPUTING

The Chinese discovered the abacus for making arithmetic computations easier. In 1882 John Shaw Billings invented the Hollerith punched card for processing US census results. The Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator (ENIAC) was invented after World War II for ballistic calculations. The Digital Computer Company developed the first personal computer in 1965. The development of personal computers was the real computer revolution because it led to widespread availability of computers in homes and offices. This increased access of ordinary people to computing.

 

COMPUTER HARDWARE DEVELOPMENTS:

Computer can be microcomputers, minicomputers, mainframe computers, and supercomputers. Computer hardware consists of input devices, a central processor, output devices, and communication devices such as the modem. The central processing unit (CPU) is the calculating part of the computer. Data is stored as binary units (bits) either 0 or 1. Eight bits make a byte. A KB is 1024 bytes, MB is 106 bytes, GN is 1 billion bytes, and TB is 1 trillion bytes. Data in a computer is stored as files (sequential or random access) that are grouped in directories. RAM keeps data during the processing stage. Long-term memory is the hard disk, floppy disk, or CD-ROM. The modem is used to transfer data from one point to another. Communication channels can be telephone lines, co-axial cables, fiber optic cables, and microwaves. Microwaves operate over short distances and require satellites as relay stations. Computers may be interconnected in a local area network, LAN; a metro area network, MAN; or a wide area network, WAN. Ergonomic designs are used to avoid health problems due to working at computer workstations for long hours.

 

COMPUTER SOFTWARE:

Software consists of the operating system and the application programs. A statistical package is a collection of programs. There are three types of software: operating systems such as windows, general-purpose programs such as word processors and statistical packages, and futuristic programs. The most popular statistical packages are BMDP, SPSS, Minitab, Censtat, SAS, and GLIM. Epi-info and Egres are specific for epidemiology. Specialized programs may be graphics, communication, multimedia, and futuristic programs. Artificial intelligence is an attempt to simulate human thought and actions used in robotics, expert systems, and virtual reality. Knowledge-based or expert systems are programs that incorporate the human thought or problem-solving processes. Virtual reality, also called artificial reality or virtual environment, is used in entertainment and simulators that train aircraft pilots.

 

EXERCISES: JOURNAL STUDY

Using the internet of online databases identify and summarize

1. One article on the information revolution and its impact on medicine

2. One articles on artificial intelligence

3. One article on computer-based diagnosis

Prof Omar Hasan Kasule, sr. August 2005