CIS 410/510, Introduction to Scientific Visualization

Time: Mon/Weds/Fri 11:00am-11:50am
Location: 220 Chapman Hall
Instructor: Hank Childs
Teaching Assistant: Brent Lessley
Hank's Office Hours: Tuesday 11-12, Thursday 1-230, 301 Deschutes Hall
Brent's Office Hours: Monday 3-4, Wednesday 3-4, 232 Deschutes Hall


This is a projects-driven class. The projects will help you learn the theory behind scientific visualization, but they will also help you become better programmers, and provide you with experiences, anecdotes, and images that will impress potential employers.

The grading is designed to make sure you are keeping up with the assignments. Staying on top of the projects will be critical to succeeding in this class.

The projects in this class will be hard work for those who have not done significant programming previously. It is difficult to quote exactly how much time, since there is variation in background and programming skill. I expect those who have less developed programming skills will find this class to be a considerable effort, but also that they will have significant improvement by the end of the course.

The only prerequisite for the class is CIS 330, but this will be waived for anyone who has good knowledge of C++. The first eight projects will be in C++, and you will start from a common code base that is implemented in C++. For the advanced project, you may use any language you wish. Computer graphics is not a prerequisite for the course and we will cover whatever graphics we need to know as we go.

Course Materials


The total points possible for 410 is 100, and for 510 is 165. I do not plan to curve the grades, and plan to set A- at 90% of the points possible, B- at 80% of the points possible, etc.
Up to 5% of extra credit is possible for participation in the forum (see "Working Together").

Academic Misconduct

Late Policy

You have 2 "late passes." Late passes allow you to turn in your project after the due date for full credit. Submitting a project with a Weds deadline on Friday (i.e., two days later) costs one late pass. Submitting a project with a Friday deadline on the following Weds (i.e., five days later) costs two lates passes. Projects with a Friday deadline can possibly be submitted on a Monday for one late pass, but my availability on Mondays is not guaranteed and you may be forced to wait until Weds (and pay two late passes). If you run out of late passes, then you may continue to earn half credit on any project. Each unused late pass is worth 0% extra credit. For the final project, you can get 80% of the points if you are two days late, 60% of the points if you are four days late, and 50% of the points any time thereafter.

Changes In Lecture Schedule

I have to be at a conference the week of February 4th. TA Brent Lessley will give one lecture. I am still figuring out a plan for the remaining two lectures (YouTube, more Brent, etc).


Contact Information

Email: hank at
Phone: (541) 346-3414 (terrible way to get in touch with me!)
Fax: (541) 346-5373

301 Deschutes Hall
1202 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1212 USA