Analyzing Time-based Studies for Radiation Oncology Data - COMP 396 Undergraduate Research Project Application Form

Supervisor's Name: Professor Laurie Hendren

Supervisor's Email: hendren [at]

Supervisor's Phone:

Supervisor's Website:

Supervisor's department: Computer Science

Course number: COMP 396 (Computer Science)

Term: Fall 2014-2015

Project start date: September 2, 2014

Project end date: December 4, 2014

Project title: Analyzing Time-based Studies for Radiation Oncology Data

Project description (50-100 words suggested):This project is part of a new interdisciplinary research group called the Health Informatics Group (HIG) which is a collaboration between Professor Hendren's group, which traditionally focuses on programming languages, tools and compilers, and Medical Physics researchers and a Radiation Oncology clinician from the McGill University Health Centre (currently based at the Montreal General Hospital).
The Radiation Oncology Department has a large amount of data including both patient data from the paperless system used in their clinics as well as data from the computerized machines used to deliver treatments. This rich source of data can be important for developing new technologies to improve patient diagnoses, care and and outcomes.
In the initial stage of the research we are designing a DSL (Domain-Specific Language) which will provide a high-level mechanism for extracting, analyzing and visualizing the data. A significant portion of this DSL will be dedicated to analyzing time based data. We hope to integrate insights from this into the design of the DSL and eventually launch a patient app that will ease waiting times, and provide patients with accurate estimates of waiting times.
One of the important first steps is to determine the kinds of specifications that need to be asked, and we have identified questions related to time (waiting time between treatments, lengths of treatments, waiting time for clinic appointments,  time between major treatment milestones, and so on).
The student working on this project will work with the HIG group to solve common time-based analysis data and generate abstractions for these. The end result should be a categorization of time-based studies and a flexible design to their solution. This design will then be integrated in to the DSL later on.
The project will use a database containing anonymized  treatment information for patients undergoing radiation therapy.  As a starting point, there is also prototype web application in place that does some basic studies.
The student will be a full member of the HIG group and will attend regular research group meetings, some of which will occur at Montreal General Hospital.

Prerequisite: U2 or higher, COMP 302

Grading scheme (The final report must be worth at least 50% of final grade): Final Report: 70%; Milestones and Meetings: 30%

Project status: This project is taken; however students may contact the professor to discuss other possible '396' projects this term.

How students can apply / Next steps: Please contact me via e-mail:  hendren [at]

Ethics, safety, and training: Supervisors are responsible for the ethics and safety compliance of undergraduate students. This project involves NEITHER animal subjects, nor human subjects, nor biohazardous substances, nor radioactive materials, nor handling chemicals, nor using lasers.