Methods Track: Sociotechnical Design & Evaluation

Sociotechnical Design & Evaluation integrates a set of core methods with psychological content and theory. Students are expected to demonstrate basic knowledge of general cognitive processes, including perception, decision-making, judgment analysis, motivation and overall information processing. In addition, they are expected to be familiar with general and applied theories in psychology, such as dual process theories, motivation, as well as applied theories, such as Situation Awareness, Contextual Control Modeling, and Information Foraging theory. In terms of methods, students will effectively utilize common techniques, such as ethnographic observation, cognitive task analysis, decision analysis, usability analysis. In addition, they will gain skills in using the tools available in the DBMI usability lab, such as eye trackers, software prototyping tools, Morae, and ATLAS.

Recommended Course of Study

This is a recommended schedule for this track. Courses can be waived or tested out of with permission of the course instructor and the student's advisor. Ultimately, the courses a student takes should be determined and approved by the student and the graduate committee.

Year/Semester Course Cr.
Year 1 Fall BMI 6018 Intro to Computer Programming  3
BMI 6010 Fnd Healthcare Informatics 2
BMI 6701 Population and Public Health 2
BMI 6030 Fnds Bioinformatics 2
Year 1 Spring BMI 6106 Into to Probability and Statistics 3
BMI 6111 Research Design Part I 1.5
BMI 6103 System Modeling and Process Improvement 2
BMI 6120 Standards in Biomedical Informatics 2
Year 2 Fall  BMI 6112 Research Design II 1.5
BMI 6806 Translational Informatics 2
BMI 6203 Clinical Database Design II 2
BMI 6102 Human System Interaction 2
BMI 6203 Clinical Database Design 2
Year 2 Spring Practicum with Sociotechnical Service Line 3
Research Credits

Recommended Electives

BMI 6300 Clinical Decision Support
CS 6540 Human/Computer Interaction
MEEN 6120 Human Factors Engineering 
PSY 7966 Human Factors
NURS 6801 Clinical Systems Analysis
PSY 6750 Brain, Cognition, and Behavior
PSY 7966 Issues in Cognition
MDCRC Decision Making
BMI 6440 Implementation of Systems in Healthcare Settings
MEEN 6100 Ergonomics
PSY 6120 Human Cognition
CS 6630 Visualization
PSY 6700 Successful Neuropsychology
PSY 7962 Seminar in Social Thinking
EDPSY Hierarchical Linear Modeling


Special Interest Groups

PhD students are required to attend at least one SIG (all students are encouraged), which bring people with similar interests together to learn, share, and experiment.


Sign up for at least one practicum to gain hands-on experience and work with a team on a project.

SmartEHR, Sociotechnical, or NLP Service Line (opportunity for individual practicum 2017)

Students have the opportunity to apply to work for a semester with the SmartEHR team or the Sociotechnical or NLP service lines on an existing project. Must be coordinated with the team/service line director before registering:

Journal Clubs

Review and discuss literature in this area.

If there is not a current journal club, encourage your SIG to host one.

Affiliated Faculty

Feel free to meet individually with faculty and/or to attend their weekly lab meetings.


Bryan Gibson; Jennifer Garvin, VA; Jonathan Nebeker, VA; Charlene Weir, VA; and Guilherme Del Fiol.


Trafton Drew, Psychology; Frank Drews, Psychology; Alexander Lex, School of Computing.

Ph. D. Application Deadlines

Fall Semester

Due Date: December 1st

Online Application

Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah