Cellular Bioelectricity
(Winter 2017)


Dr. Ian Bruce
Room ITB-A213, Ext. 26984
e-mail: ibruce@mail.ece.mcmaster.ca
e-mail aliases: ibruce@ieee.org and brucei@mcmaster.ca (use this address for MSAF)
Office Hours: 12:30-1:20pm Tuesdays and 10:30-11:20am on Fridays

Teaching Assistants:

Larissa Taylor
e-mail: taylorla@mcmaster.ca
Room ETB-432
Office Hours: 12:30-1:20pm Tuesdays

Course Outline: (subject to change)



The required text is R. Plonsey and R. C. Barr , "Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach," 3rd Edition, Springer, 2007.
Electronic copies (PDF files for each chapter) are free to download from the McMaster Library (available only for computers on the McMaster campus or logged in to the LibAccess system).

Secondary references:


Previous years' homework assignments, quizzes and exams (problems and solutions).


Computer Lab Assignment (10% ); Homework Assignments (3 × 10% = 30%); Midterm quizzes (2 × 15% = 30%); Final exam (30%)


There will be ≤ 36 one-hour lectures (3 per week) at:

11:30am–12:20am on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays in T13-105, and

≤ 12 tutorials (1 per week) at:

12:30pm–1:20pm on Fridays in ITB-139.

Lecture notes in PDF format will be posted on this web site (password protected).

Lecture #1 (Thursday, January 5); Lecture #2 (Friday, January 6); No tutorial on Friday, January 6
Lecture #3 (Tuesday, January 10); Lecture #4 (Thursday, January 12); Lecture #5 (Friday, January 13)
Tutorial #1 (Friday, January 13); Lecture #6 (Tuesday, January 17); Lecture #7 (Thursday, January 19)
Lecture #8 (Friday, January 20); Tutorial #2 (Friday, January 20); Lecture #9 (Tuesday, January 24);
Lecture #10 (Thursday, January 26); Lecture #11 (Friday, January 27); Tutorial #3 (Friday, January 27)
Lecture #12 (Tuesday, January 31); Lecture #13 (Thursday, February 2); Lecture #14 (Friday, February 3)
Practice Computer Lab Session (Friday, February 3); Graded Computer Lab Session (Tuesday, February 7)
Lecture #15 (Thursday, February 9); Midterm Quiz #1 (Friday, February 10); Tutorial #4 (Tuesday, February 14)
Lecture #16 (Thursday, February 16); Lecture #17 (Friday, February 17); Tutorial #5 (Friday, February 17)
Lecture #18 (Tuesday, February 28); Lecture #19 (Thursday, March 2); Lecture #20 (Friday, March 3)
Tutorial #6 (Friday, March 3); Lecture #21 (Tuesday, March 7); Lecture #22 (Thursday, March 9)
Lecture #23 (Friday, March 10); Tutorial #7 (Friday, March 10); Tuesday, March 14 — No lecture due to snow day
Lecture #24 (Thursday, March 16); Midterm Quiz #2 (Friday, March 17); Lecture #25 (Tuesday, March 21)
Lecture #26 (Thursday, March 23); Lecture #27 (Friday, March 24); Lecture #28 (Tuesday, March 28)
Lecture #29 (Thursday, March 30); Lecture #30 (Friday, March 31); ECG, EMG and EEG Demo (Friday, March 31)
Lecture #31 (Tuesday, April 4); Lecture #32 (Thursday, April 6)


Tutorial #1: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, January 13)
Tutorial #2: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, January 20)
Tutorial #3: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, January 27)
Tutorial #4: Problems; Partial Solutions (Tuesday, February 14)
Tutorial #5: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, February 17)
Tutorial #6: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, March 3)
Tutorial #7: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, March 10)
Tutorial #8: Problems; Partial Solutions (Friday, March 24)

Homework Assignments:

There will be 3 homework assignments. Students must complete the homework problems individually and submit their homework by the posted deadline.

Assignment #1: Problems; Solutions
Assignment #2: Problems; Solutions
Assignment #3: Problems; Solutions

Lab Assignment:

There will be 1 lab assignment taking place over 2 regular class times.
You can get some experience with the Hodgkin-Huxley model simulator that will be used in the lab by downloading it from http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/HHsim/.
The first class (12:30pm on Friday, February 3, in ITB-A114) will be a practice session for students to familiarize themeselves with the neural simulator.
Practice Session Worksheet: EE3BB3_HHlab_practice.pdf
Practice Session Solutions: EE3BB3_HHlab_practice_solns.pdf
Version of HHsim used in Practice Session: hhsim_practice.zip
The second class (11:30am on Tuesday, February 7, in ITB-A114) will be a lab session where a worksheet will be completed to determine the grade for the lab assignment. The lab worksheet will be handed out at the beginning of the class and returned at the end.
Graded Session Solutions: EE3BB3_HHlab_graded_solns.pdf
Version of HHsim used in Graded Session: hhsim_graded.zip

Midterm Quizzes:

Midterm Quiz #1: Problems; Solutions.

Midterm Quiz #2: Problems; Solutions.

Final Exam:

Date: Friday, April 21
Time: 9:00am
Duration: 2.5hrs
Place: IWC 2

A draft of the equations to be supplied with the exam paper can be found here: EE3BB3_finalexam_supplied.pdf.
Details of the exam format and content can be found here: EE3BB3_finalexam_details.pdf.

Calculator Requirement for Tests and Examinations:

McMaster Standard Calculator (Casio fx991) only

Course Policies:

The instructor reserves the right to choose the format (i.e., written or oral) of any deferred midterm or final exam in this course.
Please note that announcements concerning any type of graded material may be in any format (e.g., announcements may be made only in class, via the course e-mailing list, or on the course web site). Students are responsible for completing the graded material regardless of whether they received the announcement or not.

Policy Reminders

"The Faculty of Engineering is concerned with ensuring an environment that is free of all adverse discrimination. If there is a problem, that cannot be resolved by discussion among the persons concerned, individuals are reminded they should contact the Departmental Chair, the Sexual Harassment Officer or the Human Rights Consultant, as soon as possible."

"Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: 'Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty'), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, specifically Appendix 3, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one's own or for which other credit has been obtained.
2. Improper collaboration in group work.
3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations."

Last updated Tuesday, April 18, 2017