CS451 Fall 2016: Computer Graphics




  • Anthony Sermania
  • asermani@gmu.edu
  • Office: TA Office
  • TA Office hours: TBA

Course Scope

CS 451 is a 3-credit course that gives a general introduction to basic graphics principles, graphics software design, and OpenGL programming. The programming platform is in C and some C++. The course will include lecturing through the course notes, discussing the homework and the project, and student project presentation at the end.


  • Grade of C or better in MATH 203, CS 310, and CS 367

Course outcomes

  • Apply trigonometry, geometry, vector analysis, and linear algebra to solve real world problems. Students can develop objects transformation and their own geometric transformation mechanism as the one implemented in the OpenGL system.
  • Analyze object positions and movements to define the computing methods and solutions for multiple objects’ movements, relations, and collision activities. Students can develop methods for objects moving and colliding in 3D space.
  • Collaborate with classmates in teams in achieving the course project. Students in teams are required to identify components to be implemented and efforts to accomplish the components.
  • Understand and use the current techniques, skills, and tools in GPU programming for advanced lighting calculations.

Required Textbook

  • Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, by Steve Marschner, Peter Shirley, Fourth Edition, ISBN 9781482229394


  1. Assignments 50%: There will be around 8 programming assignments
  2. Quizzes/Mid term Exam 20%
  3. Course project 30%

You final grade will be

  • A+: >= 95 points
  • A: >= 90 points
  • B+: >= 85 points
  • B: >= 80 points
  • B-: >= 75 points
  • C+: >= 70 points
  • C: >= 60 points
  • D: >= 45 points
  • F: < 45 points

List of Topics (tentative)

  • Transforms
  • GPU and Rendering Pipeline
  • Visual Appearance
  • Texture
  • Shading
  • Light Mapping
  • Global Illumination
  • Non-Photorealistic Rendering
  • Special Effects

Classroom Behavior

During the lecture/resentation/demo, the students should not play games, text on your phone and surf the web. All electronic communication devices (including laptops, PDAs, cell phones) should be either turned off or silenced.


All required assignments should be completed by the stated due date and time. The total score of your finaly project score will be 10 points less every extra day after the due date (i.e., the 100 total points will become zero after 10 days pass the due date). You will be given 0 point for missing your own presentation.

Please note that plagiarizing will be penalized by maximum negative credit and cheating on the exam will earn you an F in the course. See the GMU Honor Code System and Policies at this page and this page. You are bound by these honor codes. Any submitted work which shows too much commonality with others' work to be completely original, or any plagiarized work, will receive a grade of 0. Any code which is presented in class or provided to you as part of the project may be included in your programs.

Accommodations for Disabilities

If you have a learning or physical difference that may affect your academic work, you will need to furnish appropriate documentation to GMU Disability Resource Center. If you qualify for accommodation, the DRC staff will give you a form detailing appropriate accommodations for your instructor. If you have such a condition, you must talk to the instructor during the first week of the term about the issue.