Please fill out the infosheet in Advice. On the front mention the courses you’re taking. In the first entry, tell me the name of the course. This information is useful in designing your course project. If your schedule changes then a new sheet can be filled in.
You will get a key to 102, our lab, as soon as they arrive. The rules for the security of the lab are as follows:
If you can’t find your key (misplaced, lost or stolen) please notify me immediately. I will then lock the deadbolt of the lab until the key issue is resolved. This way the stuff in the lab is safe.
You’re welcome to work in the lab during the hours the building is open. This coincides with the Library hours posted on the library door. Please eat your lunch at the table, not over the keyboards.
In hot weather, the machines need airconditioning. If you turn off the AC while you’re working then make sure one of them is on when you leave.
While you’re in the lab, leave the door open and be nice to inquisitive passers-by. But the last person leaving the room is responsible for shutting the door.
Don’t leave your bookbag unattended if you leave the lab temporarily. If you unplug an ethernet wire from a lab computer to use for your laptop, be sure you plug it back in when you’re done.
The books and reports on the book-shelf are for room reference and should not ordinarily be removed from the room.
There is a sign-in book near the door. When you use the room at times other than class, please write your name, date and time in the book. This gives helps determine the time during which something untoward happened in the lab.
Your work for MA198/CS199 Hypergraphics is evaluated to support a "contract grade." That is, if you complete the mutually agreed upon course project then you'll get one of 3 kinds of A. If you do not complete the project some other arrangement needs to be negotiated. Completing the project consists in
A working real-time interactive computer animation (RTICA)
Substantial documentation for the RTICA.
Seminar report on the mathematical background for the project.
Public demonstration of the completed project.
Website describing the project.
Archive of project with instructions for modification and recompilation.
You are welcome to think about a possible project and discuss it with me at any time. It can be "out of the blue sky" at first. If you submit an idea for a project as a pre-proposal then we can design a plan of study and acquisition of skills needed to conduct the project. If you don’t, and have participated in sufficiently many (not all, necessarily) tutorials and mini-projects, then we can design a project based on these prerequisites.
There will be many opportunities to examine previous projects in the course, and it is always possible to continue and improve upon the work started by prior students. At any event, the sequence of events is this
Formal proposal for a project. (Elaborated later.)
Progress reports. (Scheduled later.)
Background seminar on the math illustrated by the project.
Periodic demos of the RTICA in progress.
Public demo of project (during finals week and to a general audience.)
You will (learn) how to keep an intellectual journal. (See Advice.) This is not a diary, and it is not a set of class notes taken during a lecture or demo. That information goes into your private notebook and is nobody elses business. All professionals keep a journal. Patent defenses have been won on the basis of well kept journals. Data in lab journals are the primary basis for priority of discovery in science. Leonardo DaVinci kept supert journals. But don’t write in mirror script. Therefore, a journal has these attributes
Hand written legibly in ink (ball point, fiber point, but not pencil.)
Good quality, bound (string sewn) notebook, e.g. a Mead marble composition book.
Numbered pages, with consecutive index (say, in the back, in reverse order.)
Write on one side of a page so that comments, figures, elaborations can be added later.
Do not leave other blanks for later completion. Items can be continued asynchronously. The index keeps track of connected themes.
Journals will be collected periodically, commented on, and you shoud make any corrections and additions suggested.
Keeping a journal has these benefits
The discipline of (re)writing what you’ve learned, discovered, or don’t know yet is an excellent preparation for the professional life.
Even a less than perfect journal is a valuable souvenir of a course. Items in your class notes that you don’t rethink by entering into your journal will soon evaporate and become unintelligible.
The communication via the journal permits me to tailor your project more accurately to your interests and skills.
Ageing Mac Minis OS 10.5 with VMware Fusion Windows XP virtual machines on board.
At least one Windows box, three L300 Windows terminals, a Linux box, a legacy SGI Impact.
Use your Active Directory (AD) password to get into the Macs and the L300s. But you'll need special accounts on the other machines, when needed.
Please do NOT turn off any computers without checking with the instructor. You may turn off monitors to save electricity, so check that the monitor is on.
Check the mouse that it is set to 3 buttons, and adjust it so it is. On this website, capitalized word identifies the menu, button, widget so named visible on the desktop. The name of key in parentheses means "press key":
Apple > System Preferences > Keyboard&Mouse > Mouse > Buttons (1)(3)(2)(off).
If something is ammiss with your workstation, please fill out a bug report. This is a sheet of paper with the name of the machine, the date, and your name, plus a description. Leave this near the machine.
Use your MA198 repository to keep your files in. A Unix shell command line entry is prefaced with a dollar sign. Don’t type the \$ and press the (Return) key to enter the line. A < place holder > between angle brackets says to substitute the required item.
Use you AD password to get into Windows XP virtual machine on you Mini:
Click on HD (upper right) > click Windows > etc
Please shut down, not log out of Windows when ending VMWare session.
Log out (not shut down) Mac Minis when leaving the room.
It is important to understand that when you first log into a Mac it creates a personal directory for you which is inaccessible except from the keyboard of that machine. But you and I need to be able to access your work from anywhere, including over the web. Therefore you must keep your work in your SVN repository. That way you either checkout or update an existing copy of your work on any machine you happen to be working on. There is a separate tutorial on using SVN.
There cannot be an even remotely adequate single textbook for a tutorial course like MA198. So, without being too facetious, here is our "text book"
Archives of previous projects for MA198.
Class notes on the web.
Blinn for programmers. (Separate webpage.)
Francis for artists and mathematicians. (Separate webpage.)
Reference shelf in the REU-Lab. (Not a lending library.)
Google for all!
There is also a syllabus, but this is a volatile web document that is more useful as a record of what has already happened than what is tentatively scheduled to happen in the future.
Introduction to mathematical visualization, lessons, tutorials.
Lessons have mathematical content, mostly the geometry behind computer graphics, and examples of mathematical visualization that requires a computer.
Tutorials are mostly about techniques of general or particular interest. Thus a tutorial on how to use the SVN or the Cube is for all. A tutorial on OpenGL is only for those students who will be programming in OpenGL for their project.
Supervised labs, with individual help.
More tutorials, but Seminars for student reports replace most lessons.
Everybody works on their projects, interrupted only by specialized tutorials on a subject of interest to more than two students.
Presentations of project in a public seminar.
Demonstration of the RTICA in an immersive virtual environmen (IVE).
Written documentation of project (in TeX).
Webpage (in HTML).