Hanspeter Pfister named director of the Institute for Applied Computational Science

Pfister assumes leadership of IACS during the first year of Harvard's master's program in Computational Science and Engineering

October 8, 2013

Cambridge, Mass - October 8, 2013 - Hanspeter Pfister has been named director of the Institute for Applied Computational Science (IACS) at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).

Pfister is An Wang Professor of Computer Science at SEAS and also holds an appointment as an Affiliate Faculty Member of Harvard’s Center for Brain Science.

Established in September 2010 as an interdisciplinary education and research program, IACS provides an intellectual home for faculty and students applying computational methods to major challenges in science. This fall, IACS welcomed its first cohort of students in a new one-year Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) Master of Science degree program and is now accepting applicants for a two-year Master of Engineering degree. SEAS also offers through IACS a Secondary Field in CSE for Harvard Ph.D. students, as well as a biweekly seminar series with experts from academia and industry, and ComputeFest, two weeks of mid-winter computational skill-building culminating in a symposium on the Future of Computation.

Pfister's research lies at the intersection of visualization, computer graphics, and computer vision. His lab at SEAS works on a wide range of topics, including biomedical visualization, image and video analysis, 3D fabrication, and data science.

He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 1996 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1991 from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Prior to his appointment at Harvard, Pfister 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 hardware for PCs.

Pfister assumes leadership of IACS from Efthimios Kaxiras, John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Professor of Pure and Applied Physics at SEAS, who served from 2010 to 2013 as the Founding Director of IACS.