Andrew J. Hanson's Home Page

Computer Science Program -- Emeritus
School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
Indiana University, Bloomington
   (IU -- One.IU System)

See also my page in the Indiana University Cognitive Science Program.

Here is my capsule biography, as well as a more detailed curriculum vita.

I retired from the Indiana University faculty in June, 2012, but continue to be active in research. My official Indiana University retirement biography is here.

Andrew J. Hanson
Professor Emeritus of Computer Science
School of Informatics and Computing
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405
Office [+1] (812) 855-5855
LH215 Administrator [+1] (812) 855-6486
LH215 FAX [+1] (812) 855-4829
hansona (at) indiana [dot] edu
Generic URL:

Personal Profile:
My Erdös Number is 4. I have multiple routes:
  • Paul Erdös(0):Irving Kaplansky(1):Peter Freund(2):Tohru Eguchi(3):Andrew Hanson(4).
  • Paul Erdös(0):Itshak Borosh(1):Stephen Fulling(2):Peter Gilkey(3):Andrew Hanson(4).
  • Paul Erdös(0):Frank Harary(1):Louis Kauffman(2):George Francis(3):Andrew Hanson(4).
  • Paul Erdös(0):Pavol Hell(1):Eugene Speer(2):Tullio Regge(3):Andrew Hanson(4).
  • Paul Erdös(0):Daniel Kleitman(1):Sidney Coleman(2):Roman Jackiw(3):Andrew Hanson(4).
  • Paul Erdös(0):Vance Faber(1):Emanuel Knill(2):Gerardo Ortiz(3):Andrew Hanson(4).

My participation in the history of computing began in high-school when I was a programmer for the PLATO computer-based teaching project, for which I implemented one of the first functional simultaneous multiuser operating system kernels. Information about my involvement in PLATO, along with many other fascinating details, can be found in Brian Dear's book "The Friendly Orange Glow - The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture" (Brian Dear, Pantheon, 2017).

My Academic Genealogy traces back through Carl Friedrich Gauss, starting from my PhD thesis ("A Dual Resonance Model for Meson-Nucleon Scattering") under Professor Kerson Huang at MIT (August, 1971). A basic chart of my personal academic genealogy can be found here, and a more detailed graphical representation, including my Ph.D. advisor Kerson Huang, his students, and the relation of my own students to his later research is represented in this (graph).

(See also my Huang genealogy memoir (text)   (graph only)   from "Memorial Volume for Kerson Huang".

My family also has connections with the history of physics through the Manhattan Project. The Atomic Heritage Foundation's collection of memoirs and artifacts regarding the project includes an entry for my father, as well as a profile for me.

On July 25-26, 1956, our family survived the sinking of the ocean liner Andrea Doria. We learned many interesting things at 50th anniversary gathering held in 2006 at the United States Merchant Marine Academy; in particular, the Academy faculty has constructed a full-scale virtual reality simulation of the collision, and presented a related argument that Piero Calamai, the Andrea Doria's captain, was unfairly held responsible for the incident. A memoir on our family's experiences that I wrote for the 60th anniversary, 26 July, 2016, is here.   Some musings along with graphics of the Doria sinking that I wrote to accompany a talk I gave on July 26, 2013 (the 57th anniversary) can be found here.   In May 2017, I contributed an oral history on my childhood Andrea Doria experience (similar to the written memoir) to the StoryCorps archive.   An excerpt is at the very end (after -14:00) of this WFIU public media broadcast.

My mother not only survived the Doria, but was one of the oldest among those survivors upon her death at age 98 in 2016 (the 60th anniversary); in 2012, she published a unique environment-oriented book, "East-Central Illinois: Exploring the Beginnings" on the geological, ecological, and cultural history of the plains of central Illinois (website and hardcopy orders here). The family has now released the eBook for free download here.

My Google Scholar Profile gives a nice picture of the various fields I have worked in. My DBLP Profile is another useful (but incomplete) list of my Computer Science publications compiled by the DBLP project.

Traditional Courses of Mine:

B581, Graduate Computer Graphics, taught about 30 times.

    Public B581 syllabus: Overview of B581.

This is an OpenGL-based course introducing the mathematical foundations and practical programming methods of modern interactive computer graphics. The homework involves coding in C using OpenGL and GLUT, and mastering the theoretical principles upon which OpenGL-like graphics is based. The course emphasizes creating interactive interfaces to help understand the graphics objects and techniques being studied. Lighting and simple material modeling are covered as an introduction to the creation of realistic images.

B689, Mathematical Modeling Methods, taught half a dozen times  

Public B689 syllabus: Overview of B689.

This course focused on Mathematica-based methods of producing rapid prototypes solving complex software modeling problems. This class will start with an introduction to the Mathematica programming environment, and will incorporate Mathematica prototyping methods implicitly into a broad survey of mathematical modeling methods, techniques, and folklore used widely throughout computer science, computer graphics, scientific visualization, mathematics, and physics.


Current Research

My most recent research focuses on several areas: Mathematical Physics, Applications of Quaternions, Human Interfaces for Effective Learning, and Scientific Visualization.