COLLOQUIUM: The Secret World of Algorithms

Speaker: Dr. Rao Khan, University of Calgary & Tom Baker Cancer Centre

Topic: “The Secret World of Algorithms – Clinical Testing and Verification in Radiation Therapy”

Time: 2:00 PM, Friday, April 24, 2015 (refreshments served at 1:45 PM)

Place:  P 148 (refreshments will be served at 1:45 in P-145A)



Software Algorithms are the backbone of automation from ordinary businesses to high-tech bit-coins network industry. In most of the trades, these algorithms are proprietary, secretive, and well guarded secrets. We deeply rely on them from critical healthcare to day-to-day banking matters. They have brought benefits to us and improved the quality of our lives. However, from time-to-time these software gadgets rebel resulting in “flash crashes” which threaten our economic, social and safe well-being. In radiation therapy of cancer patients, dose computation algorithms provide very important information. By displaying volumetric radiation dose information, they provide us insights into how to focus on the tumor and avoid side-effects. The theme of this talk is to provide an insight into how clinical testing and verification of dose computation is achieved in a clinical environment. Specifically, I will discuss the testing and validation performed for a commercial transport-based dose algorithm using newly developed 3D printed tools.


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