Practicums & Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Upon completion of your chosen track, options blossom. Continue to specialize in your track or choose another emphasis by participating in our DBMI Special Interest Groups and practicums.


DBMI offers four types of practicums to provide students with proctored hands-on activities. A practicum can be applied as a NTMS capstone project if arranged prior to taking the practicum. Once you have decided on practicum and have faculty approval submit the form found on Canvas.

1. DBMI Course Practicum

Hands–on course offered by a DBMI faculty member for credit

  • All students eligible to participate with permission from the instructor
  • Can be taken for 0-3 CHs
  • In Fall 2017, we are offering 3 choices: 
    • Global Health Informatics, Ram Gouripeddi – Working with the Liahona Children’s Foundation to curb worldwide poverty, this practicum offers opportunities to apply informatics solutions to monitoring and improving nutrition in children.
    • Data Science Scholars, Wendy Chapman – This year’s Scholars practicum is focused on the application of NLP to healthcare and is for scientists with an NLP problem to solve and for students wanting to get involved in real NLP projects.
    • Data Science Educational Case Study Development, Brian Chapman – Help develop case studies to help teach data science principles and skills. The case studies will be implemented in our courses next year.

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2. DBMI Service-line Practicum

Spend a semester in one of our service lines working on projects funded by industry and health care institutions

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3. Industry Sponsored Practicum

Work with an industry partner for a semester on a jointly designed project (see Canvas for more details)

  • Finding an industry partner is the student’s responsibility—talk with
    Joe Taylor for ideas
  • All students eligible to participate
  • Can be taken for 0-3 CHs

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4. Research Practicum

Spend a semester working in a faculty research lab within or outside of DBMI (see Canvas for more details)

  • All students eligible to participate with permission from the faculty lab leader
  • Can be taken for 0-3 CHs

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5. Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Five special interest groups (SIGs) meet regularly around a shared interest in an informatics topic. PhD students and faculty are required to attend at least one SIG regularly; MS students are highly encouraged to attend a SIG; and people outside the department are welcome. SIGs provide a variety of activities, including review of the literature, hands-on experimentation with new tools and algorithms, reporting on research in progress, demos, field trips, invited speakers, debates, and development of funding ideas.

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Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah