CPSC310A: Computer Graphics
Spring 2012 Syllabus

Instructor: Dr. Durell Bouchard
Office Hours: MW: 3:00-4:00, TTH: 1:00-2:30, Also by appointment or open door
Office: Trexler 365-C
E-Mail: bouchard
Phone: 375-4901

Course Objectives

This course focuses introducing the field of computer graphics with realistic rendering. In computer graphics, rendering is the process of converting mathematical representations of the physical world into images. Topics include representing surfaces, three dimensional transformations, radiometry, Monte Carlo integration, and light transport.

Intended Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course the successful student will be able to

  1. implement a ray tracing program that is capable of rendering 3D scenes into realistic images.
  2. apply vector math, integrals, probability, and optics to model radiometry.
  3. evaluate the trade-offs between realism and efficiency of various rendering algorithms.
  4. read and present computer graphics rendering research.

Course Content

Prerequisite: CPSC 170 (MATH 121, MATH 201, and STAT 202 are recommended)

Text: Realistic Ray Tracing: First Edition, by Peter Shirley, A K Peters, 2000.

Assignments: Over the course of the semester each student will create a ray tracing program that can render images of 3D scenes. The bi-weekly programming assignments break this large program down into more manageable pieces. Many of the assignments depend on the completion previous assignments. Students are encouraged to start on them immediately when assigned and not fall behind.

Final Project: In addition to bi-weekly assignments, students will have a programming project at the end of the semester. The project consists of implementing an addition, that has been published in the computer graphics journal SIGGRAPH, to the ray tracing program from the assignments. Students will present the journal article, and their program's implementation of it, during the last week of classes.

Midterm and Final Exams: One midterm exam and one comprehensive final exam will be given.

Exam Dates: Midterm Exam Monday, February 27
Final Exam Tuesday, May 1 (8:30AM-11:30AM)

MCSP Conversations: The Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics (MCSP) is offering a series of discussions that appeal to a broad range of interests related to these fields of study. These co-curricular sessions will engage the community to think about ongoing research, novel applications, and other issues that face our disciplines. You are invited to attend all of these events but participation in at least 3 is mandatory. Within one week of attending an event you must submit a one page paper reflecting on (not just summarizing!) the discussion. If you do not turn the paper in within the one week time frame you may not count that event as one you attended. The MCSP discussions are generally scheduled for Wednesdays at 5:30 or Tuesday or Thursday at 7:00. A schedule will be provided soon and will be posted on the course web page. Please discuss scheduling conflicts with the instructor ASAP.

Grading: Course grades are assigned based on the following weights and scale:

Grade Weights: midterm exam......10% final exam.......15%  
assignments......50% final project....22% co-curricular......3%
Grade Scale: 93-100A        83-86B        73-76C        63-66D
90-92A-        80-82B-        70-72C-        60-62D-
87-89B+        77-79C+        67-69D+        below 60F

Course Policies

Academic Integrity: It is accepted that you have read and understood the standards for academic integrity at Roanoke College. All tests, exams, and assignments are to be the work of the individual student. You are encouraged to get help from the instructor if you need help with any aspect of the course including programs and assignments. Student assistants, tutors, and classmates may help you understand course concepts but may not show you how to do any particular aspect of an assignment. Copying someone else's work or turning in someone else's work is NEVER allowed. Using someone else's work or ideas as your own is plagiarism and an academic integrity offense. Examples of academic integrity violations include copying a program or part of a program (even one line) from someone else, writing code for someone else, telling someone else how to solve a problem or having someone tell you how to solve a problem. Discussion among students about programming projects should be limited to general concepts, not specific aspects of how to complete the work.

Computer Use Policies: All students must abide by the Computer Use policies of Roanoke College. Failure to do so will result in involuntary withdrawal from the course.

Attendance Policy: Class attendance is vital to your success in this course; material covered during missed sessions is the responsibility of the student. Conversations held in class illuminate the published class materials and are subject to evaluation on subsequent tests. Moreover in-class assignments are not available for make-up.

Late Assignments: Unless otherwise specified, assignments are to be turned in before the start of class on the due date. If you anticipate being unable to meet a deadline, talk to me at least 24 hours before the deadline. In extenuating circumstances we may be able to make special arrangements. Please note that this must be discussed -- just sending an email does not automatically grant you extra time. Due to the cumulative nature of the assignments, late assignments will be accepted until the due date of the final project. However, late assignments will have 1 / d percentage points deducted for each day late, where d is the number of days between when the assignment is due and when the final project is due. Electronic "glitches" do not waive your responsibility to submit your work in a timely manner.

Make-up Policy: Everyone is expected to take exams at the scheduled time. Make-ups will be given only for legitimate, documented absences that the instructor has been notified of ahead of time. Make-up tests, if given, may be oral.

Electronic Devices: All cell phones and pagers must be turned off prior to entering the classroom or lab. The use of any electronic device during a test is prohibited. This includes cell phones, personal media players, personal digital assistants, and laptops. Any use of such a device during a test will be considered a breach of academic integrity.

Special Services: If you are on record with the College's Special Services as having special academic or physical needs requiring accommodations, please meet with me during my regular office hours or schedule an appointment as soon as possible.. We need to discuss your accommodations before they can be implemented. Also, please note that arrangements for extended time on exams and testing in a semi-private setting must be made at least one week before every test or exam. If you believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not yet formally contacted Special Services, please call 375-2248 or drop by the Center for Learning and Teaching in Fintel Library.