CSCI 4530/6530 Advanced Computer Graphics
Spring 2014

  Contact Information
  Office Hours

  LMS (Discussion Forum)


  Assigned Readings

  Lecture notes
  Lab materials
  Test reviews

  Collaboration Policy
  Homework Late Policy
    Graphics library notes
    CMake notes
    memory debugging
  Electronic Submission

Final Project
   Spring '14 Projects
   Spring '13 Projects
   Spring '12 Projects
   Spring '11 Projects
   Spring '10 Projects
   Spring '09 Projects
   Spring '08 Projects
   Spring '07 Projects

Academic Integrity


Your grade in this course will be determined as follows:

  • 40% Homework Assignments
  • 30% Final Project
  • 15% Quizzes
  • 15% LMS Discussion of Assigned Readings & In-class Participation

All components of the class are graded on a curve. What does this mean? The homeworks will contain challenging problems and the grade breakdown will likely be lower than the typical 90%=A, 80%=B, etc. We will give approximate grade breakdowns for the each assignment as the course progresses so you may gauge your performance. Note: Grades will not be available through LMS.

You must have a passing average on each component (homeworks, final project, quizzes, LMS & in class discussion/participation) in order to pass the course.


There will be 5 homework assignments. Homework 0 is smaller and worth fewer points than the other four homeworks. You will have 2-3 weeks to complete each of Homeworks 1-4, so be sure to manage your time effectively. On the weeks no homework assignment due, you will instead be required to post an informal but informative progress status report with sample output images (which may still be buggy) on Rensselaer LMS. The progress post(s) will be worth approximately one third of the homework grade (points awarded for effort and progress), so make sure you have plenty of real progress to report. The full homework submission (your code & README.txt) will be submitted to the homework web server.

See also Homework information.

Final Project

For the final project you will select your own topic. It can be an extension of one of the homework assignments, a portion of your graduate research, a significant module of a final project for another course, or a brand-new project. You are highly encouraged to work in a team of 2 for the final project. Individual projects or teams of 3 must have advance approval from the instructor. The project must include a significant graphics programming component. You will share your results through an in-class presentation to your peers and a publication-quality writeup (e.g., motivation, related work, algorithm/technique, results, conclusions, and bibliography). Graduate students are expected to complete a more extensive project and are required to format their project report for submission to an appropriate graphics-related conference or journal (e.g., SIGGRAPH, Symposium on Computer Animation, Symposium on Geometry Processing, Eurographics Symposium on Rendering, Graphics Interface, etc.)

See also Final Project information.


We will have 2 in-class quizzes covering the lecture material and readings.

LMS Discussion of Assigned Readings

All students are expected to have downloaded and read the assigned academic research paper for that day's lecture. It's "ok" if you don't understand all of the details, but you should be able to put that paper in the wider context of computer graphics research and learn more about the technical background related to that paper (using other reference material as needed).

In preparation for each lecture, we will have an online discussion of the paper on Rensselaer LMS. Each student should post a detailed question or comment on the assigned reading before 10am on the day the paper will be discussed in class. The post should be well-written and approximately 100-200 words in length. Your post can respond to another student's comment/question. Multiple posts, following up on the discussion are encouraged. Including links to other sources of related background material and a summary of how that material is related are encouraged as well. You must contribute to at least 20 of the assigned reading discussions in order to pass the course.

Each student will lead a 10-20 minute in-class discussion of one research paper during the semester. Note: This is not a summary presentation of the original work -- after all, the other students in class have already read the paper. Instead, the student assigned to present the paper will quickly review the paper's technical contributions and broader impact (2 minutes maximum), and then lead the class in a discussion of the paper, beginning with the notable comments posted to the LMS forum. Note: It is important that everyone have posted their comment/question before 10am, so the student leading the presentation has time to review the posts in preparation for the discussion.

In-Class Participation

Participation is a very important component of the course. You are expected to regularly attend lecture, ask questions, and join in the in-class and on-line discussions.

Laptop / Smart Phone Policy: Laptops, tablet computers, smart phones, and other internet-connected devices are not allowed to be used in lecture. The lecture slides will be posted on the course website on the day of the lecture. The lectures are intended to be discussion-intensive and students who have their head stuck in a laptop -- reading email, checking facebook, other non-course-related websurfing, coding (even if it is ACG homework!), or playing games -- are not sufficiently engaged in lecture. An exception to this policy is during the discussion of the day's assigned paper: students may use their laptop/tablet to view an electronic version of the paper. Other exceptions to this policy are negotiable; please see the instructor in office hours.