BMI 884, Biomedical data science professional skills
University of Wisconsin-Madison
(1 credit)

Course meetings: Fr 11:00-11:50, 4765 Medical Sciences Center

Instructor: Karl Broman, 6743 Medical Sciences Center

Office hours by appointment

A variety of skills that are important for a successful research career are often left to students to develop on their own. This course attempts to fill many of those gaps, including writing and reviewing papers, security research funding, giving talks, presenting posters, making a personal website, job opportunities in universities and industry, and teaching.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will be able to describe good practices for research scientists’ participation in social media.
  • Students will be able to describe strategies for forming and managing scientific collaborations.
  • Students will be able to identify employment opportunities at universities and in industry and demonstrate understanding of strategies for applying and interviewing for such positions.
  • Students will be able to describe and compare different teaching practices and methods for motivating students.


  • The course will be held in-person in 4765 Medical Sciences Center
  • COVID-19 vaccination is strongly encouraged
  • Use of a high-quality mask is strongly encouraged
  • If you have COVID-related symptoms, please stay home
  • If you need to miss class, email Karl Broman


The primary course activity will be discussion. Be prepared, be engaged, listen, and be respectful.

I ask that everyone strive toward the following:

Norms for discussion

  • Presume positive intentions
  • Engage respectfully
  • Listen attentively
  • Aim for equal participation
  • Respect boundaries
  • Provide evidence

Course grade

Course grade will be based solely on class participation. There will be no written homework assignments this semester.

The class participation grade will be based on participation in each session, scored according to the following rubric:

Good contributor: Contributions in class reflect thorough preparation. Ideas offered are usually substantive, provide good insights and sometimes direction for the class. Challenges are well substantiated and often persuasive. (Score 3/3)

Adequate contributor: Contributions in class reflect satisfactory preparation. Ideas offered are sometimes substantive, provide generally useful insights but seldom offer a new direction for the discussion. Challenges are sometimes presented, fairly well substantiated, and are sometimes persuasive. (Score 2/3)

Weak contributor: Contributions in class reflect inadequate preparation. Ideas offered are seldom substantive, provide few if any insights and never a constructive direction for the class. Integrative comments and effective challenges are absent. (Score 1/3)

Non-participant: Says little or nothing in class. Hence, there is not an adequate basis for evaluation. (Score 0/3)

Grading scale: 92-100 (A), 87-91 (AB), 82-86 (B), 77-81 (BC), 70-76 (C), 60-69 (D), <60 (F)

Students are encouraged to discuss course content with each other.



Assigned readings appear in the course schedule. Students are expected to complete the reading assignments in advance of discussion.

Homework assignments

There will be no written homework assignments this semester.

Additional policies and statements

Also see the additional institutional policies and statements: