Author Archives: Omar Badreddin

About Omar Badreddin

Assistant Professor - Software Engineering and Healthcare Informatics. Model Driven Engineering.

Life++

Not so popular stuff..

1. Finis Neptune Swimp3 underwater music player
Swimming does not need to be a solitude boring exercise. You can enjoy listing to music while swimming laps. It works and it is amusing.

2. Oakley Crosshair 2.0 Sun Glasses
I never thought I would recommend this. These glasses are excellent if you are doing an outdoor activity. They are strong, firm, light, and hold on tight to your face.

3. François Dupuis Recreation Centre
!!!

4. Nike Free
Very light and flexible shows.

5. Corolla
The car. Yes. Boring and cheap, but also reliable and efficient.

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Concise guide for finding a faculty position

Four steps, Prepare application package, identify target universities, customize and apply, interviewing.

1. Prepare application package
This includes complete C.V, research statement, teaching statement, generic cover letter, list of referees, and sample writing.

2. Identify target universities
If you are not willing to live in China, then do not apply to a university there. Be realistic and apply only to universities where you are willing to move to if you got an offer. Elimenate schools and positions where you know you do not have a chance at acceptance.

3. Customize and Apply
While you can customize all of your application package, this may be too tediouse. I advice for customizing only a cover letter. The cover letter should demonstrate that you studied the position, the department, and the research of a few faculty members.

4. Interviewing
This is the toughest part. It requires significant effort and time investment. Most likely you will have to travel to the university, see multiple faculty members and give a talk. No advice here on travel and meeting faculty members. Just be yourself and relax.

The talk must be impressive. You must have deep understanding of the nature of the faculty you are joining and what their expectations is. If it is a teaching-focused job, then your talk must focus on teaching, and the same for research oriented faculties. Focus on the future and outline your road map. Support this by evidence of what you have accomplished.

Building Center of Excellence for Care Process Management and Analytics

Summary of Proposal

We want to establish a center of excellence for knowledge transfer and further development of the models, tools, and techniques that BIN researchers have developed in collaboration with IBM and Ontario hospitals for care process management and analytics. The technology brings BI to hospitals and promises enhanced care process management including significant reduction of patients’ wait time, especial in emergency departments. Interest has been expressed in such technologies from other hospitals in Canada and in the U.S.

We would like to hire a post doc who has BIN research experience to write grant proposals to fund the center, create a permanent demo showcasing our reference architecture for care process management and analytics to date, develop and deliver training on BIN models, tools and techniques.

Objectives

–          Establish a center of excellence to maintain the existing reference architecture that combines the latest IBM products for Business Process Management, Data Integration and Business Intelligence with the models, tools and techniques our research has developed for care process management and analytics.

–          Continue to train students, researchers and healthcare professionals on such technologies.

–          Continue ongoing research and expand the knowledge base of case studies and clinical trials that validate the efficacy of our research results.  This includes expanding our collaboration networks to other hospitals, companies, and researchers.

The funds will contribute to the salary of one post doctorate researcher who will help in writing funding proposals and publish scientific articles, as well as development of showcase material for knowledge transfer.

Recent Progress

We have successfully validated our research with a case study supporting Acute Coronary Syndrome clinical pathway at William Osler Hospital in Toronto in collaboration with IBM. The Ottawa hospital and Queensway Carleton hospital have expressed interest with IBM in joining us in the creation of center of excellence to continue this research past the bin project. We have also had preliminary conversations with hospitals in the United States and the rest of Canada.

Research results have been published in a number of journals, books, conferences, and workshops.

Impact

A survey of 100 clinicians and information professionals who evaluated the Osler case study showed that our proposed reference architecture will dramatically improve care process management and can be deployed within hospitals within 2 to 5 years time frame.

This research has the potential to significantly improvement operations, management and predictability of health care. In particular 1) track in real time whether service delivery is being carried out within medical guidelines limits 2) integrate location information with business process management using smart phones and tablets to pinpoint exactly where patients and clinicians are in terms of location and clinical pathway 3) deliver in real time alerts and relevant patients data to the right person at the right location at the right time.

Integrated Technology Architecture for Real Time Care Process Management

Public Abstract

Patients are facing excessive wait times at hospitals, especially within Emergency Departments. Long wait times expose patients to unnecessary risks, and are very costly to hospitals. In addition, a number of governmental and medical guidelines impose limits on patient wait times. This has prompted hospitals to explore technologies that can enhance patients flow and reduce wait times.

This research aims to address patients wait time issues by deploying a Care Process Management system (CPM) that models and monitor clinical pathways as a process model. The proposed approach provides real time dashboards where hospital administrators can view current patient states and can predict when a patient wait time will exceed a specified limit. This enables the administrator to take corrective action in a timely manner to address the cause of the delay.

When completed, such a system will improve patient safety, reduce wait times, enhance patient satisfaction, and maximize resource utilization

Blackboard Learning system. The Good and the Bad

Blackboard learning system is an online system where university instructors and student manage course content, assignments and exams. These systems have been available for sometime, and they defiantly useful. University of Ottawa recently moved to Blackboard from an older version of Virtual Campus.

I am generally happy about the change. Here is my analysis about Blackboard. Some of the analysis are compiled from students feedback and comments.

First, let me say that I have used the majority of Blackboard features in my classes. My students are in the science domain, so we had no problems using the system.

The Good

Course content. Blogs. Wikis. Send email. Grade Center.

Course content is typically available in many online learning systems. It works well in Blackboard. The search feature is interesting, but I have never used it. Course content was never too many to justify the need for search in my case.

Blogs and Wiki are excellent, particularly allowing students to post anonymously. I had student comment about the Grading scheme, course content, book, exams, quizzes. I did not escape the comments myself. I used wikis to discuss course content and topics discussed in class. Students used wikis to help each other out. Anyone could anonymously post a questions. I do not remember seeing a question went unanswered. And no, students do not get points for posting. Actually, giving points for posting makes the student post just for the grade. For me, I do not give points for attendance, and in the same way, no points for posting. So far, I have had students attend regularly and post regularly.

Send email is simple and does the job. I use it for announcing and for communication. That is why announcements is not needed in my opinion.

Grade center. Absolutely functional and useful. I have never needed to try the offline feature of Grade center because I did not need it, but I can see how it can be useful for some.

The Bad

Calendar. Tasks. Announcements. Collaboration. Rubrics. Self and Peer Assessment. Users and Groups. Discussion board.

A common reason why I find these features in Blackboard useless, and in fact, blackboard would be better without them, is because they have added value. For example, almost everyone has his own calendar that has many events on it. Having a calendar feature in Blackboard just does not work. People will have two calendars to check, at least. It is better if Calendar integrated with other calendars, like Google and Microsoft for example. The same for Tasks.

Now for announcements. In my case, I use email for announcements, or in class announcement  I use my own calendar to remind me about announcements in class or for students.

I have never used Rubrics and never saw a need to use it. However, I like to think of myself as a typical instructor. If I do not need it, then maybe everyone else does not need it either. Give me your feedback about this one.

Self and Peer Assessment. This is an overkill. Universities have their own way to evaluate professors, and students are evaluated in the Grade center. Unless universities also use this assessment with student in their course evaluation, this feature is just not needed.

It would be nice to allow Blackboard users to just remove the features they do not need. Blackboard pages are over cluttered and it takes me and the students a lot of time to navigate to where we want to go.

Final Verdict

Blackboard is a step forward, nice useful new features, especially wiki and blogs. Many features are just there to make the point (maybe for marketing team to check more marks). In practice, blackboard is better without them. But since Blackboard is off the shelf system, I can understand why. It is the price of one size fits all.

BPM Clients and Projects

Summary of projects and clients where I was involved as a BPM consultant.

Ned Bank, South Africa (2010)

Ned Bank is the largest bank in South Africa. I have worked with the IT department in the bank to help them adopt BPM methodology to streamline some of their business activities. I was also involved in a technology transfer sessions with a number of senior management team at the bank. Our work was crucial in expanding capacity in the face of 2010 world cup that was held in South Africa.

Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canada (2011)

I have lead the initiative to map some of CFI’s internal processes concerned with project initiation, review, outcome and financial post award. I have helped put in place a BPM methodology and tooling with little disturbance to existing practices.

CIB Bank, Egypt (2009)

Modeling or a number of customer facing processes helped CIB bank understand the time and effort needed to accomplish objectives, estimate the number of visits of clients. We used the models to predict clients inflows and plan for significant spikes of clients. We have also constructed a TO-BE model that increases efficiency and throughput. I have used a number of IBM tools, including IBM WebSphere Business Modeling, Monitor, and Process Server.

Housing Bank, Jordan (2009)

I was invited by the bank (PMO office) to help assess the value of initiating a BPM activities. I was involved in the kick off period and contributed to methodology choices and tools. My work involved the identification of a need for Portfolio Management methodology, where the PMO office must manage a number of competing projects. At the time, I have contributed to the deployment of IBM Portfolio Manager tool.

Mobily, Telecom sector, Saudi Arabia (2007)

The telecom sector is a fast growing sector in many economies. I have worked with Mobily during a boom of the number of their subscriptions. Mobily needed to revamp how they manage customer support, call centers, operations, auctioning of subcontracts, and managing maintenance procedures of their infrastructure and hardware installations. I have worked with their middle level engineers to put in place a core team responsible for modeling of processes. The objective was focused on managing existing operations and there was little time or capacity to implement change.

Austrian Government (2007)

I have worked with a core team of engineers to establish an extensive Model Driven Engineering project (details of which was outside of my scope). I have delivered an intensive 5 day workshop where a vision for the tool requirements and how the tools would integrate and work together were demonstrated.

IBM Lab, Amsterdam, Zagreb, Vienna (2007)

I have delivered a proof of concept for a portfolio of tools (involving Rational and WebSphere) that supports a Process Driven Software Engineering.

Egyptian Government (2006)

I have worked with a team from IBM to implement a major revamping of the Egyptian Government’s land registration system. Our response for an RFP was accepted, and we have implemented a ‘by the book’ BPM project. AS_IS processes were mapped from employees, and we constructed TO-BE models after consultations. The new systems enabled the government to collect billion’s worth of taxes over the years.