CS 637 - Exploring Virtual Worlds

Bulletin Description

This course covers a mixture of core techniques related to systems for constructing and modeling virtual environments, such as model-building, image-based rendering, headmounted hardware, stereo image generation, head-tracking, and immersive display technology. The core topics will be presented using textbooks and papers from the current literature. A substantial group project will provide hands-on experience with the concepts, algorithms and technology.

Expected Preparation

Students should be capable of structured functional/object-oriented programming, graphical user interface design, image processing and core concepts in multimedia/graphics/imaging systems.  Mathematical skills should cover calculus, linear algebra, basic statistical methods, and numerical methods.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will learn the core technologies involved in systems that create a virtual computer environment. These component technologies, such as advanced raster graphics architectures, geometric models, image-based rendering algorithms, and head-mounted display technologies, will be presented and critiqued. Students will begin to understand the state-of-the-art and the difference between the current and the fundamental limitations of such systems. Students will develop a skill-set in this course that will enable them to use tools, algorithms and hardware to implement a solution to a substantial problem in a virtual-reality environment.

Syllabus Information

Topics:

1. Introduction

     · History (origins)

2. Advanced raster graphics architectures

3. VR systems and component technologies

4. Images meet 3-D models

     · Image warping

     · Image-based rendering

     · Texture-mapping

     · 3-D modeling

     · Calibration

5. Display technology

     · Head-mounted displays

     · Stereo displays

     · Emmersive display environments (Case study: the CAVE)

6. Interaction techniques and Haptics/force Feedback

7. Tracking

8. Augmented reality

9. Human factors

Examinations:

Exact details about examinations in this course will be determined by the instructor offering the course. Typically there will be two in-class examinations during the semester and a two-hour final examination. Specific details will be made available in the syllabus at the start of each semester in which the course is offered.

Grading:

A student's grade will be determined by a weighted average of homework assignments, programming exercises, projects, midterm examinations, and the final examination. The faculty offering the course will make the details available at the start of the course. A typical weighting is:

Homework and programs: 40%
Midterm Examinations (2 @ 15%): 30%
Final Examination: 30%

Possible Textbooks:

Will be selected later.

Papers

Selection of readings from SIGGRAPH and journals like Presence, IEEE CG&A, Image and Vision computing, etc.

MIT Press, 1992. ISBN: 0262210134.