In the last post, I pointed out two limitations of propositional logic– namely, its inability to handle variables and quantifiers.  Let’s take a look at how these limitations affect one’s ability to use logic to solve specific types of problems. Remember, propositional logic deals solely with declarative statements. Atlanta is in Georgia. Lassie is a […]


Logic is the foundation of mathematics and, thus required for understanding the rest of the topics in this series of posts.   The most approachable introduction to logic begins with propositions.  A proposition is simply a statement, which is a declarative sentence that is either true or false. Statements Today is Monday. Atlanta is in Georgia. […]


Clinical care is a complex activity, and the systems designed to support it must manage that complexity.   Building systems to assist with patient care requires converting real-world messiness into something computers can manipulate, which comes down to, at some point, 0s and 1s.   Obviously, this is not currently a straightforward process.   The difficulties inherent in […]


Easing into Summer with a Little Bit of Math

by Jerome Carter on May 27, 2013 · 0 comments

There is nothing like a good book and a beach to kick of the start of summer.   For me, this means finally being able to finish The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick.   Information theory is not a subject for the faint-of-heart,  but Gleick’s treatment of Claude Shannon’s break-through work is […]


Clinical Workflow Analysis: Next Steps

by Jerome Carter on January 7, 2013 · 0 comments

In the last post, I mentioned that I intended to complete a workflow paper that had languished for the last few years.  As it turns out, I made only a little progress.  This was not due to a lack of effort. It’s just that in going over the original outline and old notes, I discovered […]


Well, it has taken longer than expected, but it’s time to discuss Petri nets.   This is the first post in a series that will look at this remarkable tool.  I am enamored with Petri nets because they provide an elegant solution to a range of problems I have encountered during software design and implementation.  Here […]

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The EHR as an Object Worthy of Study

by Jerome Carter on October 8, 2012 · 0 comments

It isn’t often that I come across an article that truly resonates with me, but Next-Generation Phenotyping of Electronic Health Records, by Hripcsak and Albers, did just that.   While the authors’ main focus is EHR data quality, they make this intriguing observation/suggestion: It will require study of the EHR as if it were a natural […]