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CS116bSpring 2005Sec1Home Page/Syllabus

Computer Graphics Algorithms

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours:MW 3-5:30pm
Class Meets:
Sec1 MW 5:30pm-6:45pm in MH222


To take this class you must have taken: CS116A 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:'s GLUT page.
Nate Robins' GLUT page.


This course starts off where CS116A left off. We will begin by talking about different ways to represent 3D surfaces. We'll talk about quadrics, Bezier curves/surface, NURBS, and other representations. We'll also say how to use these things in OpenGL. Then visible surface detection techniques will be discussed. Lighting models will be introduced and ray-tracing and radiosity algorithms will be covered. Finally, color models will be described and computer animation algorithms will be given.

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

Week 1: Jan 26 Read 8.1-8.3
Week 2: Jan 31, Feb 2 Read 8.4-8.8
Week 3: Feb 7, Feb 9 Read 8.9-8.12
Week 4: Feb 14, Feb 16 Read 8.13-8.18
Week 5: Feb 21, Feb 23 Read 8.19-8.23
Week 6: Feb 28, Mar 2 Review
Week 7: Mar 7, Mar 9 Read 8.24-8.27, 9.1
Week 8: Mar 14, Mar 16 Read 9.2-9.14
Week 9: Mar 21, Mar 23 Read 10.1-10.4
Week 10: Mar 28, Mar 30 (Spring Break)
Week 11: Apr 4, Apr 6 Read 10.5-10.10
Week 12: Apr 11, Apr 13 Read 10.11-10.14
Week 13: Apr 18, Apr 20 Read 10.15-10.20
Week 14: Apr 25, Apr 27 Read 11.6-11.9, 12.1-12.2
Week 15: May 2, May 4 Read 12.3-12.9, 13.1
Week 16: May 9May 11 Read 13.2-13.10
Week 17: May 16 Review
The final will be May 23, 5:15pm-7:30pm


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 the top region to the 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. The written and programming parts of an assignment 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. Homeworks will always be due by the start of class on the day their 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: Mar 2 and Apr 13.

The final will be: May 23, 5:15pm-7:30pm.

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. A student caught using resources like Rent-a-coder will receive an F for the course and be referred to University for disciplinary action.