Monday, December 03, 2018

And It's December

I just turned in my final assignment. By final I mean final assignment, meaning the last one in my master’s degree. I mean like if my team doesn’t miss more than four out of 16 points I will graduate on the 15th. I mean final like there is a chance for extra credit that is bigger than any other assignment that might mean the difference between me graduating and not. I dislike this class with a passion.

The degree, Master’s of Computer Science at Georgia Tech. The final class, Introduction to Health Informatics. Would I ever suggest taking this course? No, just a straight no. The only reason I can see for someone to take it would be if their job is going to deal with Health Informatics. If they are already dealing with it, forget it, they will be happier not taking this class.

For those of us that were never going to go into healthcare software this is really just an exercise in frustration. The paramount frustration is supplied by the course itself, or rather the original instructor. He essentially describes all the different ways everyone is doing healthcare data, and what a nightmare interoperability is. The tone is set in frustration that even after 60+ years of thinking about electronic health records that it’s still a really hard problem. Just like telling doctors they aren’t doing something right.

The second frustration was how the class was run. It seems that it was mostly TA run because the professors aren’t actually technical, but having taken classes by David Joyner I found their expectations did not normally match their directions and the grade weights for particular sections that were administrative details far exceeded actual content. Missing a name in a presentation was the difference between getting 100% and getting a B in one case.

The third frustration was with our TA, responding to pertinent questions after the assignment was due. Nothing better to make an assignment even tougher.

If there was an alternative, I would have taken it. And throughout the 4 years that I have labored through all of these courses there have been a few that have been promised to whole time, one that would have been interesting is the computational journalism or something like that. It couldn’t have been worse than this one, right?

In some ways I really shouldn’t complain, the main one being that there were no tests. A few courses with tests have been my worst courses. Give me coding and projects over tests, I am just not built for them anymore, who is with google right there?

The amount of time and money that I will have available in the future is sort of daunting. What will I do with all that time? But I think saving the money is going to be pretty obvious for that. I guess I can rewrite my novel, write another, and spend time with my wife. She’ll like that.

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