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CS116aFall 2004Sec1Home Page/Syllabus

Introduction to Computer Graphics

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours:MW 2:45-5:15pm
Class Meets:
Sec1 MW 1:30pm-2:45pm in SCI311


To take this class you must have taken: CS146, MATH32, and MATH129A with a grade of C- or better.

Texts and Links

Required Texts: Computer Graphics with OpenGL, 3rd Ed.. by Hearn and Baker.
Online References & Other Links: GLUT page.
Nate Robins' GLUT page.
Alias Wavefront.


This class will cover the basic algorithms necessary to output progressively more sophisticated 2D and 3D images. OpenGL and GLUT will be used throughout to teach these algorithms although when we cover 3D graphics a couple DirectX9 examples will be given. We will begin by discuss algorithms for drawing lines, curves and 2D shapes. Then we'll talk about fill and shading techniques as well as anti-aliasing. The basics of 2D rotations, transformations and clipping algorithms will be given. Then we'll begin to discuss 3D graphics and the graphics pipeline. Different kinds of perspective and 3D transformations will be given. We will conclude the semester by talking about different kinds of illumination models.

Below is a tentative time table for when we'll do things this quarter:

Week 1: Aug 25 Read H&B 2.8-2.9
Week 2: Aug 30, Sep 1 Read H&B 3.1-3.9
Week 3: Sep 6(Holiday), Sep 8 Read H&B 3.10-3.14
Week 4: Sep 13, Sep 15 Finish Chapter 3
Week 5: Sep 20, Sep 22 Read H&B 4.1-4.9
Week 6: Sep 27, Sep 29 Review
Week 7: Oct 4, Oct 6 Finish CH 4
Week 8: Oct 11, Oct 13 Read H&B 5.1-5.6
Week 9: Oct 18, Oct 20 Read H&B 5.6-5.12
Week 10: Oct 25, Oct 27 Finish Ch 5
Week 11: Nov 1, Nov 3 Review
Week 12: Nov 8, Nov 10 Read H&B 6.1-6.5
Week 13: Nov 15, Nov 17 Finish Ch 6
Week 14: Nov 22, Nov 24 Read H&B 7.1-7.6
Week 15: Nov 29, Dec 1 Finish Ch 7
Week 16: Dec 6Dec 8 Read H&B 10.1-10.5, Review
The final will be Thursday, Dec 16 from 12:15-14:30 in SCI164


Homeworks 40%
Midterm 1 15%
Midterm 2 15%
Final 30%

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: The person or persons with the highest aggregate score will receive an A+. The lowest scoring person with a score above 55 will be the cut-off for a C-. That is, that person will receive a C-, but no one below him will. The region between this high and low score will be divided into eight equal-sized regions. From top region to low region, a score falling within a region receives the grade: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-. If the boundary between an A and an A- is 85, then the score 85 counts as an A-. Scores below the lowest C- but above 50 receive the grade D. Those below 50 receive the grade F.

If you do better than an A- in this class and want me to write you a letter of recommendation, I will generally be willing provided you ask me within two years of taking my course. Be advised that I write better letters if I know you to some degree.

Homework Info

Links to the current list of assignments can be found on the left hand frame of the class homepage. After an assignment has been returned a link to its solution will be placed off the assignment page. Material from assignments may appear on midterms and finals. Homeworks for this class will be submitted and returned completely electronically. Assignments are submitted by clicking on the submit homework link for your section on the left hand side of the homepage and filling out the on-line form. Hardcopies or e-mail versions of your assignments will be rejected and not receive credit. Each homework will be worth 10 points. Homeworks will always be due by 10 minutes till midnight on the day they are due. Late homeworks will not be accepted; however, your low homework score will be dropped.

When doing the programming part of an assignment please make sure to adhere to the specification given as closely as possible. Names of files should be as given, etc. Failure to follow the specification may result in your homework not being graded and you receiving a zero for your work. In addition, you should make sure your code conforms with the Departmental C++ Coding Guidelines. This will be worth one point on every assignment.


The midterms will be during class time on: Sep 29 and Nov 3.

The final will be: Thursday, Dec 16 from 12:15-14:30 in SCI164.

All exams are closed book, closed notes and in this classroom. You will be allowed only the test and your pen or pencil on your desk during these exams. Beeper or cell-phone interruptions will result in immediate excusal from the test. The final will cover material from the whole quarter although there will be an emphasis on material after the last midterm. No make-ups will be given. The final exam may be scaled to replace a midterm grade if it was missed under provably legitimate circumstances. These exams will test whether or not you have mastered the material both presented in class or assigned as homework during the quarter. My exams usually consist of a series of essay style questions. I try to avoid making tricky problems. The week before each exam I will give out a list of problems representative of the level of difficulty of problems the student will be expected to answer on the exam. Any disputes concerning grades on exams should be directed to me, Professor Pollett.


If you believe an error was made in the grading of your program or exam, you may request in person a regrade from me, Professor Pollett, during my office hours. I do not accept e-mail requests for regrades. A request for a regrade must be made no more than a week after the homework or a midterm is returned. If you cannot find me before the end of the semester and you would like to request a regrade of your final, you may see me in person at the start of the immediately following semester.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism on homework or cheating on tests will result in appropriate academic disciplinary action being taken. Information on the university policy governing academic dishonesty can be found at At a minimum a 0 on the assignment or test will be given. Students caught using resources like Rent-a-coder will receive an F for the course and be referred to University for disciplinary action.