Hanspeter Pfister

Hanspeter Pfister

  • An Wang Professor of Computer Science
  • Director, Institute for Applied Computational Science
  • Affiliate Faculty Member, Center for Brain Science


Hanspeter Pfister is the An Wang Professor of Computer Science, Director of the Institute for Applied Computational Science, and Affiliate Faculty Member, Center for Brain Science, at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. His research in visual computing lies at the intersection of visualization, computer graphics, and computer vision. It spans a wide range of topics, including bio-medical visualization, image and video analysis, 3D fabrication, and visual analytics in data science. 

Dr. Pfister has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Before joining Harvard he worked for over a decade at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories where he was Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist. He was the chief architect of VolumePro, Mitsubishi Electric's award-winning real-time volume rendering graphics card, for which he received the Mitsubishi Electric President's Award in 2000.  

Dr. Pfister is co-inventor of over 50 US patents and co-author on more than 120 peer-reviewed publications, including over 20 ACM SIGGRAPH papers, the premier forum in Computer Graphics. He is co-editor of the first textbook on Point-Based Computer Graphics, published by Elsevier in 2007. He is the recipient of the 2010 IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement award, the 2009 IEEE Meritorious Service Award, and the 2009 Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award. 

He has been associate editor of the ACM Transaction on Graphics and the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. He has served on the committees of all major visualization and graphics conferences, including ACM SIGGRAPH, IEEE Visualization, EuroVis, and Eurographics. He was technical papers chair for ACM SIGGRAPH 2012, EuroVis 2011, IEEE Visualization 2009, and general chair of the 2002 IEEE Visualization conference. 

Dr. Pfister was elected as chair and is currently a director of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee. He is a senior member of the IEEE Computer Society, and a member of ACM SIGGRAPH and the Eurographics Association. 

Contact Information

Office:227 Maxwell Dworkin
Office Phone:(617) 496-8269
Lab Name:Graphics, Vision & Interaction
Assistant:Michaela Kapp
Assistant Office:Maxwell Dworkin 111A
Assistant Phone:617-496-0964

Primary Teaching Area