Hank Childs

Associate Professor
CIS Department
University of Oregon

Office:301 Deschutes Hall
Phone:+1 (541) 346-3414 (Note: terrible way to get in touch with me)
Fax:+1 (541) 346-5373
E-mail:hank@uoregon.edu
Web Page:http://ix.cs.uoregon.edu/~hank
Appointments:calendar

Bio and Awards Research Projects Publications Teaching Advising Service Textbooks Calendar CV


As an advisor, I find that I am most successful working with driven, talented people. (Fortunately, our group is composed of such people!) I am not a good micromanager, so be warned that doing research with me works best if you are "all in," and likely will not work if you are depending on me to regularly look over your shoulder and/or motivate you. (My motivational style is mostly helping students see positive outcomes they could achieve and the steps necessary to achieve them.)

Advising Graduate Student Research

  • A typical Ph.D. student in our group will publish approximately five first-authored papers. My involvement in their research projects varies based on their progress within the program. For a student's first project, I am typically very actively involved in selecting the topic, planning experiments, analyzing results, writing text in their paper, and sometimes even writing code. I then often play smaller and smaller roles on each successive project, since the student has increasingly more experience performing research.
  • The students in our group frequently participate in internships. I am supportive of this because it has so many positive benefits: (1) creating recognition for the student, which often turns into employment opportunities, (2) helping students identify research problems that will readily translate to real-world impact, and (3) getting exposure to professional environments so they can make informed decisions about employers when they graduate.
  • If you are a potential Ph.D. student who wants to do research with me, please let me know the following things: (1) why you want to get a Ph.D., (2) your background in relation to CDUX research directions, (3) general information about yourself, including your previous degrees, test scores, etc., and (4) that you read this page.

Advising Undergraduate Student Research

  • I advise both theses and general undergrad research.
  • Our group's opportunities for undergrad researchers are typically for students who have sufficient background in visualization, graphics, or high-performance computing.
  • In almost all cases, the students I work with have previously taken one or more of my courses, which helps everyone makes sure there is a strong match. (If you are an undergrad interested in doing research with me, the best path is to take a class I am teaching.)

Career Advice

If you have previously taken one of my courses and would like career advice, then I am always willing to meet. To set up an appointment, consult my calendar and email me a proposed time.

Advising Lineage (My Mentors)

I have been very lucky in having great mentors throughout my career. Each of them shared the philosophy of putting their employees/students first, which is a philosophy I now try to employ myself. I feel indebted to:
  • Eric Brugger, my manager at Lawrence Livermore, 1999-2009. When I started at LLNL, Eric had a group composed mostly of twenty-somethings at their first real jobs, and he molded us all into successful professionals. During our decade together, Eric invested so much time in me, including patiently answering every question I had and listening to all my ideas.
  • Nelson Max, my Ph.D. advisor, 2000-2006. Despite being a highly decorated computer graphics researcher, Nelson let me set the agenda for my dissertation to overlap with my own professional interests, and he dutifully, promptly, and thoroughly reviewed all of my (poor) writing.
  • Wes Bethel, my manager at Lawrence Berkeley, 2009-2016. Wes taught me to write proposals, gave me feedback I needed, and, watching him, I learned how to develop young researchers. Moreover, under his tutelage, I broadened myself as a researcher. Being in the Lawrence Berkeley environment and working with/for Wes was a critical step in my move to academia.
  • Ken Joy, my manager at UC Davis when I came back to be a professional researcher, 2009-2013. Ken has advised many students over the course of his career, including more than 25 Ph.D. students. The impact he made on so many lives (through both advising and teaching) is an inspiration to me, and one of the primary reasons I chose to become a university professor. Further, since my own Ph.D. process was as a remote student, sitting with Ken's group for four years (and seeking his advice regularly) was critical experience for me in preparing to becoming a professor myself.

According to the Mathematics Genealogy Project, my advisor-advisee lineage, through Nelson, traces back to Jacobi and Copernicus, among others. Our group's Ph.D. students share this lineage when they graduate.