Professor Childs featured in CASCADE Magazine

Hank Child portrait

That’s no surprise given Childs is a big-data expert—his students learn high-performance computing in tech-heavy classes on programming and data visualization. But Childs is also having success placing students who take his course on the more creative side of computer and information science: Introduction to Computer Graphics.

As taught by Childs (above), the course is basically about making video games. Students have created billiards contests with moving pool balls; self-styled versions of the classic competition Connect Four; even a simulation of airplane flight, from the pilot’s vantage point and complete with exploding targets.

What’s a video game got to do with landing a job? Plenty.

Building a video game from scratch is just a means to an end, says Childs, an associate professor. Along the way, students are immersed in complementary halves of a comprehensive education in computer science—the theory, which is about how to solve problems, and the programming, which is the use of a language that tells a computer what to do.

“Computer scientists deal with the theoretical pieces and computer programmers are expert at developing software,” Childs said. “Both are really important.”

Check out the rest of the article, Getting Graphic: Course in Video Game Desing is Gateway to Jobs with Tech Leaders" in the Spring 2016 edition of CASCADE Magazine.