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CS216Spring 2010Sec1Home Page/Syllabus

Geometric Modeling

Instructor: Chris Pollett
Office: MH 214
Phone Number: (408) 924 5145
Office Hours: TR 2:00-4:00pm 5:15-5:30pm
Class Meets:
Sec1 TR 4:00-5:15pm 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 and Geometric Modeling: Implementation and Algorithms (Springer 2004), ISBN: 1852338180. M. K. Agoston
3D Computer Graphics: A Mathematical Introduction with OpenGL. Sam Buss
Online References and Other Links: OpenGL.
Nate Robins' GLUT page.

Topics and Outcomes

Geometric Modeling is the part of Computer Graphics that deals with the methods and algorithms needed to represent shapes usually in either 2D or 3D. In this class we will look at several of these algorithms as well as the math behind them and how to actually implement these algorithms on a computer using OpenGL. We will begin the semester by looking at curves and surfaces original used by the auto industry to specify shapes of cars. Namely, we'll look at Bezier Curves, B-Splines as well as surfaces and NURBS. We will then consider algorithms related to different mesh representations. We will then discuss visible surface algorithms, Voronoi Diagrams and Delauney Triangulations. We will also look at how to implement scene graphs using BSPs. We will conclude the semester talking about geodesics (curves) on surfaces. Student learning outcomes for this course are as follows (based on the departmental canonical syllabus). By the end of this semester a student should be able to: (1) Implement splines, (2) Derive point positions from different curve representations, (3) Implement different methods of curve subdivision, (4) Implement different methods of surface subdivision, (5) Implement different methods of representing surfaces, (6) Know the advantages and disadvantages of different mesh representations, (7) Understand and use scene graphs, (8) Implement Voronoi diagrams and Delaunay triangulations, (9) Implement and use BSP trees, (10) Create computer models of geodesics.

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

Week 1: Jan 26, Jan 28 Bezier Curves, Buss Ch 7.1-7.8, Agoston Ch11.1-11.4
Week 2: Feb 2, Feb 4 Finish Bezier Curves, B-Splines. Buss Ch 7.8-7.16 Agoston Finish Ch11
Week 3: Feb 9, Feb 11 Start B-Splines. Buss 8.1-8.6., Agoston Ch 12
Week 4: Feb 16, Feb 18 Finish B-Splines. Finish Buss Ch8, Agoston Ch 12 (Should turn in one page Project proposal)
Week 5: Feb 23, Feb 25 Start Mesh Representations, Agoston Ch 5.1-5.3
Week 6: Mar 2, Mar 4 Finish Agoston Ch 5
Week 7: Mar 9, Mar 11 Start Math Background for Geometric Modeling, Agoston Ch 6, Practice Midterm Day
Week 8: Mar 16, Mar 18 (Furlough)
Week 9: Mar 23 (Furlough), Mar 25 Finish Ch6
Week 10: Mar 30, Apr 1 Spring Recess
Week 11: Apr 6, Apr 8 Visible Surface Algorithms, Start Agoston Ch 7 (Demo in class on project progess)
Week 12: Apr 13, Apr 15 Finish Ch 7
Week 13: Apr 20, Apr 22 Start talking about Voronoi Diagrams, Agoston Ch17
Week 14: Apr 27, Apr 29 Finish Ch 17
Week 15: May 4, May 6 (Furlough) Computer Models of Geodesics. Agoston Ch 15.
Week 16: May 11, May 13 Practice Final Day, Demo Day
The final will be 2:45-5:00pm, Monday, May 24


Homeworks and Quizzes 40%
Project 20%
Midterm 15%
Final 25%

Grades will be calculated in the following manner: The person or persons with the highest aggregate score will receive an A+. A score of 55 will be the cut-off for a C-. 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 55 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 and Project Info

This semester we will have four homeworks, weekly quizzes, and a larger scale project. Every Tuesday this semester, except the first day of class, the Midterm Day, and Spring Break; there will be a quiz on the previous week's material. The answer to the quiz will either be multiple choice or true-false, and will basically make sure you reviewed the previous weeks notes. Each quiz is worth a maximum of 1pt. Out of the total of thirteen quizzes this semester, I will keep your ten best scores.

I will try to keep the homeworks relatively short this semester. Their intent is to get people to experiment with the various algorithms we'll learn to do geometric modeling. In addition to the homeworks, there will a larger scale project that people are expected to complete by the end of the semester. For this project, students will have to turn in progress reports and demo their code throughout the semester. On the last day of class, there will be a demo day where people show off their work to their peers.

Links to the current list of homeworks, quizzes, and projects can be found on the left hand frame of the class homepage. After an homework has been returned a link to its solution (based on the best student solutions) will be placed off the homework page. Material from assignments may appear on midterms and finals. Since the class size is small this semester, homeworks for the class should be done individually. You can discuss homeworks at a high level but you should not look at other students' code or copy code from other sources unless approved by the instructor. Homeworks for this class will be submitted and returned completely electronically. To submit an assignment click 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 and missed quizzes cannot be made up; however, your lowest score amongst the four homeworks and your quiz total 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.


The midterms will be during class time on: Mar 16.

The final will be: 2:45-5:00pm, Monday, May 24.

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

Your own commitment to learning, as evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University, and the University's Academic Integrity Policy requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the Office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The policy on academic integrity can be found at

Specifically, for this class, you should obviously not cheat on tests. For homeworks, you should not discuss or share code or problem solutions between groups! 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.

Additional Policies and Procedures

The campus policy to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is:
"If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 requires that students with disabilities register with DRC to establish a record of their disability."

More information about SJSU policies and procedures can be found at the following links: