CS 536 Computer Graphics I
Section 501
  • Instructor: Dr. David Breen
    • E-mail: david_AT_cs.drexel.edu
    • Office: University Crosings 114
    • Office Hours: Wed 4:00-5:30
    • Class Hours: Tues 6:00-8:50
    • Class Location: University Crossings 149
    • Phone: (215) 895-1626
  • Teaching Assistant: Manolya Eyiyurekli
    • E-mail: me52_AT_cs.drexel.edu
    • Office: University Crossings 129
    • Office Hours: Thursday, 3:00 → 5:00
Course Page : http://www.cs.drexel.edu/~david/Classes/CS536

Recommended Textbooks:
  1. Introduction to Computer Graphics, by James D. Foley, Andries van Dam, et al. Addison-Wesley Pub Co, 1994; ISBN: 0201609215
Suggested Supplemental Texts:
  1. Curves and Surfaces for CAGD, 5th ed., by Gerald Farin. Published by Morgan-Kaufmann, 2002; ISBN: 1-55860-737-4
  2. Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, 2nd ed., by Peter Shirley et al., AK Peters, 2005, ISBN: 1-56881-269-8

It is University policy that you read your official Drexel email; it is the course policy that you read it at least once per day.

Course Objective

Computer Graphics represents a vast technical field, ranging from mathematics and geometry topics to computer hardware and software engineering topics to rendering, animation and virtual reality, far more than can be comprehensively covered in a 10 week term. Computer Graphics I is designed to provide students with an introduction to the fundamental algorithms of computer graphics through detailed coverage of the mathematics and implementation of 2D and 3D line, curve and surface drawing. The course culminates with a focus on 3D viewing and visible surface algorithms.


Students are required to have taken CS260 (Data Structures), CS 350 (Software Design) and Math 201 (Linear Algebra). You will find this course extremely difficult if you do not have strong (B or better) linear algebra skills. Minimal review of linear algebra will be given in this class. Students are assumed to have excellent knowledge of programming. Students can use whatever programming language they wish (C, C++, Java, etc.) for the assignments in this class with the following caveat: you will need to turn in both source code and an executable file for testing and evaluation. Code must run, without dynamic linking, as a single command-line process on the CS Department's Linux (tux) computers, or possibly on a MacOS X computer. Arguments passed to the command-line will parameterize assignments; hence you'll need to read command-line arguments (argc, argv) and parse input files. This course is mathematically intense and implementationally challenging. You will be required to implement complex data structures and mathematical calculations as a regular part of your assignments.

Course Grading Scheme
  • Assignments (80%)
  • Presentation (10%)
  • Final exam (10%)
I will use the standard grading scale of 100→ 90 (A), 89→ 80 (B), 79→ 70 (C), 69→ 60 (D), else (F). Please also note that incompletes will not be given for this course.


Students must work on the assignments individually. No geometry or graphics libraries may be used in the homework assignments.
1 point per day (max of 5 points) will be deducted from late assignments. You will be given a grade of 0 if an assignment is not turned in by the last day of classes.
The programming assignments must be submitted on the class WebCT page before 11:59 PM on the due date.
Note: If the TA or instructor finds strong evidence of cheating on assignments and/or the final examination, the student(s) involved will receive an "F" in the course, and a memo describing the cheating will be added to their student record. Be very careful, it is not worth the risk.
Note: Your source code for all programming assignments will be run through a plagiarism detection system. This program uses compiler techniques, which are invariant of syntax and style. If you are sharing/borrowing code with other classmates (from this or previous years), you will get caught.


Every student will make a 10 minute presentation based on a research paper from the SIGGRAPH Proceedings or the Seminal Graphics Collection
Students should choose a paper from 1995 or earlier on a subject that will not be covered in class by Professor Breen.

Presentation Schedule


There will be a final exam on the material from class that is not covered by the regular assignments.

Week 1 (January 9 - 13)
Week 2 (January 16 - 20)
Week 3 (January 23 - 27)
Week 4 (January 30 - February 3)
Week 5 (February 6 - February 10))
Week 6 (February 13 - 17)
  • Nate Jackson presentation
  • Lee Rosenfeldt presentation
  • Reading Assignment - F et al.: 3.7, 3.14, 6.1→6.4
  • February 14 - Lecture: Thick Primitives 6 per page
  • February 14 - Lecture: Introduction to 3D Viewing 6 per page
  • February 19 - Assignment 3 Due
Week 7 (February 20 - 24)
Week 8 (February 27 - March 3)
  • Dan Brooks presentation
  • Simon Galperin presentation
  • Reading Assignment - F et al.: 13→13.4, 9.3, 9.4
  • February 28 - Lecture: Culling, Z-Buffering and Ray Tracing 6 per page
  • February 28 - Lecture: Surfaces 6 per page
  • March 5 - Assignment 4 Due
Week 9 (March 6 - March 10)
  • David Turner presentation
  • Reading Assignment - F et al.: Chapter 10
  • March 7 - Lecture: Subdivision Surfaces and Solid Modeling
  • March 7 - Lecture: Solid Models 6 per page
Week 10 (March 13 - 17)

File last modified on March 16, 2006.