CS 5721 - Computer Graphics - Spring 2014

Course Syllabus

Location: MWAH 175 (Lecture), MWAH 187 (Lab)
Time: 2:00pm - 3:15pm Tu/Th (Lecture), 4:00pm - 4:50pm Th (Lab)
Instructor: Pete Willemsen, TA: Viswanadh Vuggumudi
Office Hours:

10:00am - 11:30am T/Th
TA Office Hours:
1pm-2pm Tu, HH 314;
10am-12pm Th, MWAH 187;
10am-11am F MWAH 177

Course Description

The course will introduce the fundamentals of computer graphics used to create 2D images based on 3D representations. The topics presented will focus on the concepts necessary for color representation, vector and matrix mathematics, 3D viewing, and hidden surface elimination. Additional topics may include image texturing, graphics hardware programming, ray tracing, and/or visual perception. Lab time will be used to relate the lecture topics with contemporary computer graphics hardware. Over the course of the semester, students will implement a significant code base to create (or render) their own images.


The course will use the book Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, 3rd Edition, P. Shirley, A.K. Peters, 2009. This book is required for the course and it is recommended that you use the 3rd edition.

Class Requirements

There will be several programming assignments in the course along with two mid-terms and a final exam. We will be using a course Moodle for managing the courses' assignments, homeworks, labs, and activities. To access the course Moodle, go to http://moodle2.umn.edu and login using your campus login information. Note that CS 5721 is using Moodle2 this semester.

1. Programming Assignments (30%) - There will be around 4-6 programming assignments given over the course of the semester. These assignments will focus on building various components related to the generation of 3D computer graphics. Programming assignments will be coded in C++.

2. Lab (30%) - The scheduled lab time will be used as a place to learn skills that will improve abilities and increase practical knowledge for creating computer graphics programs.

3. Readings, Discussions, Quizzes (10%) - Almost every week, a reading, discussion, or small quiz will be given to gauge your reading of the course material.

4. Exams (30%) - There will be three exams over the course of the semester. The final exam is one of these exams. According to the Final Exam Schedule, the date of the final exam is Wednesday May 14, 2014 from 4:00pm - 5:55pm.

The following provides a guide for how the grades will be distributed once a final percentage is computed:

  • 90% results in an A-
  • 80% results in a B-
  • 70% results in a C-
  • 60% results in a D

Grades are posted to the moodle. We will do our best to keep the up to date.

Policies (by taking the class, it is understood that you have read this section!)

Missed Classes
Students are responsible for what goes on in class, including lecture material, handouts, and turning in assignments. If you are unable to attend class it is your responsibility to obtain copies of class notes and any materials distributed in class. You may always turn in copies of assignments early.

Missed Exams
No exam will be given early. Exams can be made up only in the case of extreme emergencies. You must contact the instructor 24 hours in advance in order to arrange a makeup.

All assignments will be due by email or web drop before the beginning of class on the due date. Late assignments will be penalized 20% of the grade for each working day the assignment is late. To turn in an assignment, send an email with attachments to the instructor, or submit via a web drop (ASCII text, PDF, Word, or OpenOffice documents will be accepted).

No Incompletes
I do not give incompletes! All work must be done during this semester.

Don't do it! It doesn't provide any benefit to you. Programming and homework assignments must be your own work. You may discuss general, high-level, or conceptual issues with other students, but should not share actual code with others. Cheating is considered to be sharing code either by copying, retyping, looking at, or supplying a copy of a file. Cheating is also considered to include the use of code supplied off the Internet. If you use Google or other search engines to look for code to help you with a programming assignment, don't do it! I do expect you to be honest and I will respect you as a colleague until I am proven to be wrong. If you are having problems with an assignment, please come talk to me or send me email.

Student Conduct
The instructor will enforce and students are expected to follow the University's Student Conduct Code (http://www.d.umn.edu/assl/conduct/code). Appropriate classroom conduct promotes an environment of academic achievement and integrity. Disruptive classroom behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor's ability to teach, or student learning, is prohibited. Disruptive behavior includes inappropriate use of technology in the classroom. Examples include ringing cell phones, text-messaging, watching videos, playing computer games, email, or surfing the Internet on your computer instead of note-taking or other instructor-sanctioned activities.

Academic Integrity
Academic dishonesty tarnishes UMD's reputation and discredits the accomplishments of students. UMD is committed to providing students every possible opportunity to grow in mind and spirit. This pledge can only be redeemed in an environment of trust, honesty, and fairness. As a result, academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense by all members of the academic community. In keeping with this ideal, this course will adhere to UMD's Student Academic Integrity Policy, which can be found at www.d.umn.edu/assl/conduct/integrity. This policy sanctions students engaging in academic dishonesty with penalties up to and including expulsion from the university for repeat offenders.

Equal Opportunity
As instructor I shall make every attempt to treat all students equally, without regard to race, religion, color, sex, handicap, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation. I encourage you to talk to me about your concerns of equal opportunity in the classroom. To inquire further about the University's policy on equal opportunity, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity (6827), 269-273 DAdB.

Students With Disabilities
If you have any disability (either permanent or temporary) that might affect your ability to perform in this class, please inform me at the start of the semester. I may adapt methods, materials, or testing so that you can participate equitably. To learn about the services that UMD provides to students with disabilities, contact the Access Center (8727), 138 Kirby Plaza, or the Office of Equal Opportunity (8217), 269-273 DAdB.

Mental Health Statement
As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, feeling down, difficulty concentrating and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce a student’s ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via the UMD Health Service Counseling website at http://www.d.umn.edu/hlthserv/counseling/