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This page contains information on the Scientific Visualization course (CS 5630/6630) taught by Professor Cláudio Silva during Fall 2008 in the School of Computing, University of Utah.

This class meets on Tuesday and Thursdays, 10:45am-12:05pm, WEB 112.


Course Overview

The demand for the construction of complex visualizations is growing in many disciplines of science, as users are faced with ever increasing volumes of data to analyze. In this class, we will cover the principles and techniques necessary to generate these visualizations.

There will be no required textbook. Kitware's VTK User's Guide might be useful. We will be providing a detailed set of course notes for the class.

For the assignments, we will be using VisTrails, VTK, and matplotlib in this class. For each assignment, the students will need to turn in their complete "vistrail" for the work.

Besides the assignments, there will be one midterm and one final.

College of Engineering Guidelines

Lectures, and consulting hours

We will meet twice a week: Tuesday, Thursday, 10:45am-12:05pm, WEB 112.

The instructor for the class is Claudio Silva.

The TA for the course is Chang Liu.

Silva office hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays (9:45 - 10:45 am), WEB 4893.

TA office hours: Mon, Wed and Fri(10:00-11:00am), CADE lab(Linux) or by appointment

Please post your questions to



As announced in class, we will hold 2 optional lectures on VisTrails, VTK, and Python. They will be held on WEB Rm# 120 (note room change!), 3-4pm on the following dates:

  • August 29th, 2008
  • September 5th, 2008


The class wiki page will contain up-to-date notes that reflect the material covered in class. We will also add pointers to supplementary material.

In the tentative schedule, there are hints on what to read before attending the class.

Tips for converting VTK pipelines

Reference Material

VisTrails User's Guide

Matplotlib User’s Guide

Dive Into Python

VTK User's Guide


For the assignments, you will be turning in ".vt" files produced with VisTrails.

Late Assignments

Assignments will not be accepted late. Students will be given a one-time two-day exemption for an unexpected event.


Your grade will be a combination of assignments (70%) and midterm (15%) and final (15%).

Mailing List

Students With Disabilities

The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services and activities for people with disabilities. If you will need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice needs to be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 581-5020 (V/TDD). CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.

All written information in this course can be made available in alternative format with prior notification to the Center for Disability Services.

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