WiGRAPH, an organization devoted to broadening the network of women researchers in Computer Graphics, featured UChicago CS Assistant Professor Rana Hanocka in a feature on the career transition from student to faculty. The Q&A speaks with Hanocka and fellow scientists Angjoo Kanazawa and Alexandra Ion about their research, their teaching philosophy, and their approach to managing a laboratory.

Each professor was also asked why they chose their current workplace, and Hanocka explained her decision to join UChicago CS in 2021.

Rana: I was drawn to the University of Chicago for many reasons. First, the Department of Computer Science has experienced tremendous growth, doubling in size with 28 faculty members added in the last five years. The vibrant energy of so many ambitious new professors fresh out of their PhDs appealed greatly to me. Since I’ve joined, my colleagues have simply been amazing, with everyone extremely supportive and genuinely interested in helping one another.

Second, I considered how I could contribute to the department. Given that there were no faculty members in Computer Graphics, I was intrigued by the possibility of stepping in to help grow this area and complement the department’s existing strengths such as in HCI, Systems, and Machine Learning (including with our close ties at the local TTIC).

Third, the students at UChicago are phenomenal – creative, intellectually curious, and capable of performing high-impact research. Lastly, Chicago is a great metropolitan city to live in, with seemingly endless dining, entertainment, and shopping options.

For more on Hanocka’s research, visit the 3DL website.

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