Course Outline (F2019)

BME229: Biomedical Physics

Instructor(s)Jahan Tavakkoli [Coordinator]
Office: KHE-332C
Phone: TBA
Email: jtavakkoli@ryerson.ca
Office Hours: W: 11:15-12:30, F: 10:15-11:30
Calendar DescriptionApplication of physics in medicine. This survey course will address basic concepts of medical imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation isotopes, radiation therapy, gamma spectroscopy and trace element analysis, and biomedical laser applications.
PrerequisitesBME 100 and CHY 102 and CPS 125 and ELE 202 and MTH 141 and MTH 240 and PCS 125 and PCS 211
AntirequisitesPCS 229


Compulsory Text(s):
  1. Introduction to Biomedical Physics - BME229, by Todd Pawlicki, Daniel J. Scanderbeg, George Starkschall, Krzysztof Iniewski, John G. Webster, 2nd Edition, 2019, Ryerson University, Wiley Custom Learning Solutions, ISBN 9781119582922 (available at Ryerson bookstore).
Reference Text(s):
  1. Radiation Therapy Physics, by William R. Hendee, Geoffrey S. Ibbott, and Eric G. Hendee, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 3’rd edition, 2005.
  2. Medical Imaging, by Krzysztof Iniewski, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2009.
  3. Medical Instrumentation: Application and Design, by John G. Webster, John Wiley & Sons Inc., 4’th edition, 2010.
  4. Physics for Scientists and Engineers with Modern Physics, by Raymond A. Serway and John W. Jewett, Jr., 9’th edition, 2013.
  5. Physics in Biology and Medicine, by Paul Davidovits, Academic Press, 4’th edition, 2012.
  6. The Physics of Radiation Therapy, by Faiz M. Khan, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 4’th edition, 2009.
Learning Objectives (Indicators)  

At the end of this course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Understands, interprets, articulates, and applies a basic knowledge of science in the identification, formulation and solution of basic problems. (1a)
  2. Makes accurate use of technical literature and other information sources, and distinguishes between the information relevant to the problem situation and irrelevant information. (3a)
  3. Demonstrates ability to conduct visual analysis. (3b)
  4. Identifies appropriate technical literature and other information sources to meet a need, and clearly attributes sources. (12a)
  5. Identifies resources and professional associations that address ongoing professional development. (12b)

NOTE:Numbers in parentheses refer to the graduate attributes required by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB).

Course Organization

3.0 hours of lecture per week for 13 weeks
0.0 hours of lab/tutorial per week for 12 weeks

Teaching AssistantsMarking TA: Jae Lee
Course Evaluation
Final Exam 60 %
In-class Clicker Questions (5% for participation and 10% for correct answers) 15 %
In-class Paper Quizzes 25 %
TOTAL:100 %

Note: In order for a student to pass a course with "Theory and Laboratory" components, in addition to earning a minimum overall course mark of 50%, the student must pass the Laboratory and Theory portions separately by achieving a minimum of 50% in the combined Laboratory components and 50% in the combined Theory components. Please refer to the "Course Evaluation" section for details on the Theory and Laboratory components.

Examinations6 announced in-class paper quizzes (the best 5 quizzes will be used to calculate final quiz mark). A quiz date will be announced at least one week earlier.
 Final exam, during exam period, two and a half hours, closed-book (covers the entire course materials).
Other Evaluation Information-  In-class quizzes and final exam will contain multiple-choice, short-answer
    and problem questions.
 -  Sharing of calculators, pencils, pens or erasers is not permitted during any
    course examination.
 -  During evaluations, only non-programmable calculator models allowed.
    Examples are: Sharp EL-546, Casio FX-991 or similar models.
 -  Cell phones, laptops, tablets or any other mobile electronic devices
    must only be used for clicker questions. Any other use of electronic devices
    during lectures is STRICTLY prohibited.
 -  Cell phones must be on silence all the time during lectures.
 -  Coats, jackets and bags must be placed out of reach during any course
 -  Ryerson photo ID must be placed on the desk, at all times, during any course
 -  Talking to another student, glancing over another student’s paper or being
    caught with non-allowed materials during an evaluation may result in a ZERO
    mark for the evaluation and a record of academic misconduct filed with the
    Registrar’s office.
Other InformationiClickers are used for in-class clicker questions (http://www.iclicker.com/). iClickers are available at the Ryerson bookstore for purchase. A clicker must be registered to the course before it could be used in the class. Read and follow the instructions posted on D2L on how to purchase and register your iClicker to the class. Two options are allowed for iClickers: (1) iClicker1 or 2 Devices (a physical device), and (2) REEF Polling App (a mobile app). For more information, see instructions posted on D2L.

Course Content



Chapters /

Topic, description



Course Introduction



Biomedical Engineering as a Career



Basics of Nuclear Physics



Atomic Structure and Radioactive Decay



Radiation Interactions with Biological Matter- Radiobiology



Production of X-rays and X-ray Imaging



An Introduction to Radiation Therapy



Hyperthermia and Thermal Ablation for Cancer Treatment



Nuclear Medicine and Nuclear Imaging



Basic Concepts of Medical Instrumentation and Signals



Special Topics in Biomedical Physics (Presented as Research Guest Lectures - 6 Lectures)



In-class Paper Quizzes

Policies & Important Information:

  1. Students are required to obtain and maintain a Ryerson e-mail account for timely communications between the instructor and the students;
  2. Any changes in the course outline, test dates, marking or evaluation will be discussed in class prior to being implemented;
  3. Assignments, projects, reports and other deadline-bound course assessment components handed in past the due date will receive a mark of ZERO, unless otherwise stated. Marking information will be made available at the time when such course assessment components are announced.
  4. Refer to our Departmental FAQ page for information on common questions and issues at the following link: https://www.ee.ryerson.ca/guides/Student.Academic.FAQ.html.

Missed Classes and/or Evaluations

When possible, students are required to inform their instructors of any situation which arises during the semester which may have an adverse effect upon their academic performance, and must request any consideration and accommodation according to the relevant policies as far in advance as possible. Failure to do so may jeopardize any academic appeals.

  1. Health certificates - If a student misses the deadline for submitting an assignment, or the date of an exam or other evaluation component for health reasons, they should notify their instructor as soon as possible, and submit a Ryerson Student Health Certificate AND an Academic Consideration Request form within 3 working days of the missed date. Both documents are available at https://www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/medical.pdf.. If you are a full-time or part-time degree student, then you submit your forms to your own program department or school;
  2. Religious, Aboriginal and Spiritual observance - If a student needs accommodation because of religious, Aboriginal or spiritual observance, they must submit a Request for Accommodation of Student Religious, Aboriginal and Spiritual Observance AND an Academic Consideration Request form within the first 2 weeks of the class or, for a final examination, within 2 weeks of the posting of the examination schedule. If the requested absence occurs within the first 2 weeks of classes, or the dates are not known well in advance as they are linked to other conditions, these forms should be submitted with as much lead time as possible in advance of the absence. Both documents are available at www.ryerson.ca/senate/forms/relobservforminstr.pdf. If you are a full-time or part-time degree student, then you submit the forms to your own program department or school;
  3. Academic Accommodation Support - Before the first graded work is due, students registered with the Academic Accommodation Support office (AAS - www.ryerson.ca/studentlearningsupport/academic-accommodation-support) should provide their instructors with an Academic Accommodation letter that describes their academic accommodation plan.

Academic Integrity

Ryerson's Policy 60 (the Academic Integrity policy) applies to all students at the University. Forms of academic misconduct include plagiarism, cheating, supplying false information to the University, and other acts. The most common form of academic misconduct is plagiarism - a serious academic offence, with potentially severe penalties and other consequences. It is expected, therefore, that all examinations and work submitted for evaluation and course credit will be the product of each student's individual effort (or an authorized group of students). Submitting the same work for credit to more than one course, without instructor approval, can also be considered a form of plagiarism.

Suspicions of academic misconduct may be referred to the Academic Integrity Office (AIO). Students who are found to have committed academic misconduct will have a Disciplinary Notation (DN) placed on their academic record (not on their transcript) and will normally be assigned one or more of the following penalties:

  1. A grade reduction for the work, ranging up to an including a zero on the work (minimum penalty for graduate work is a zero on the work);
  2. A grade reduction in the course greater than a zero on the work. (Note that this penalty can only be applied to course components worth 10% or less, and any additional penalty cannot exceed 10% of the final course grade. Students must be given prior notice that such a penalty will be assigned (e.g. in the course outline or on the assignment handout);
  3. An F in the course;
  4. More serious penalties up to and including expulsion from the University.

The unauthorized use of intellectual property of others, including your professor, for distribution, sale, or profit is expressly prohibited, in accordance with Policy 60 (Sections 2.8 and 2.10). Intellectual property includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Slides
  2. Lecture notes
  3. Presentation materials used in and outside of class
  4. Lab manuals
  5. Course packs
  6. Exams

For more detailed information on these issues, please refer to the Academic Integrity policy(https://www.ryerson.ca/senate/policies/pol60.pdf) and to the Academic Integrity Office website (https://www.ryerson.ca/academicintegrity/).

Important Resources Available at Ryerson

  1. The Library (https://library.ryerson.ca/) provides research workshops and individual assistance. Inquire at the Reference Desk on the second floor of the library, or go to library.ryerson.ca/guides/workshops
  2. Student Learning Support(https://www.ryerson.ca/studentlearningsupport) offers group-based and individual help with writing, math, study skills and transition support, and other issues.