CS497: Advanced Surface Modeling

Fall 2002
11:00–12:15 Tue/Thu in 106B6 Engineering Hall
Prof. Michael Garland (Instructor)
3215 DCL
Office Hours: Tuesday 1:00–2:00
Andrea Whitesell (Secretary)
3120 DCL

Class Web site: http://graphics.cs.uiuc.edu/~garland/class/model02/


Computer graphics has become a vital technology in many diverse areas, ranging from interactive games and feature film production to aircraft design and medical diagnosis. One of the fundamental requirements for all computer graphics applications is the need for sophisticated techniques for representing and processing geometric object models.

In this course, we will explore some of these advanced techniques in geometric modeling, concentrating on recent research results. Topics covered in the course will likely include:

Students are expected to have successfully completed the prerequisite course (CS 318) or have an equivalent background. An existing knowledge of OpenGL is assumed, although knowledge of a comparable system (such as DirectX) should be sufficient.


Papers    This course is focused on reading and understanding papers drawn from the research literature. We will generally cover 1–2 papers per class. These papers will be handed out in advance, and you will be expected to have read them before coming to class. For each paper, you will be expected to send me a brief summary prior to class. First, you should describe the key points of the paper in 2–3 sentences. Then, you should write down the biggest question you have about the paper; this may be something you didn’t understand or that you feel the authors didn’t adequately address. E-mail this little write-up to me at garland+summary@cs.uiuc.edu and put the corresponding class date in the subject line. Your summary is due by 10:00 a.m. of the day on which that paper is being discussed.

Presentations    Each of you will be expected to give 1 or more in-class presentations on the papers we will be reading during the course — the exact number will depend on enrollment. Presentations should be about 30 minutes long and should cover the most important material described in the paper. These presentations account for a significant part of your final grade. I expect more than just an outline of the paper. For instance, you should take the time to read any important related papers so that you can explain how this method fits into the overall scheme of things. Failure to do this will result in a grade that you won’t be happy with.

Projects    My tentative plan is that there will be 3 programming project assignments over the course of the semester. The first 2 will be individual projects where the implementation goals are specified by me. The final project will be a group term project. You will work in groups of 2–3 on a project of your choosing. I will provide some suggestions for possible projects, but you will be free to come up with your own as well. In either case, I must approve the details of the project you intend to pursue.


Final grades in this course will be based on in-class participation and performance on the course projects. There will be no exams. Grades in the individual areas will be tentatively weighted as follows:

Class Participation10%
Paper Presentation(s)20%
Individual Project #115%
Individual Project #220%
Group Term Project35%

I will total grades as indicated by the weighting scheme above. Each student will have earned some percentage of the total possible points. This percentage will determine a minimum guaranteed grade, as indicated in the following table:

% Total      Minimum Grade
90-100 A
80-89 B
70-79 C
58-69 D

This table indicates minimum guaranteed grades. I may select more generous ranges if appropriate (e.g., by lowering all cut-offs by 2 points).

Please remember that students are bound by the University honor code on academic integrity in regard to all work related to this course. Any student found to be violating this code will be subject to disciplinary action.

Computer Facilities

This course will be using the PC workstations located in the CSIL labs in room L410 DCL. All the machines labeled as graphics machines have 3-D graphics accelerators. Other CSIL machines do not have 3-D graphics hardware and will probably be too slow to comfortably run your projects. If you registered for this course, an account should have been created for you on these machines.

Last modified: 09/02/02 10:18:36 CDT