Fall 1996 Course Description

Math 351
Topics in Applied Mathematics

Geometry on Computers

Course Description:

This course is an introduction to the use of computers in geometry (in particular geometric optimization) as well as the application of geometry to computer graphics. We will make use of SGI workstations in the Renaissance Experimental Lab at NCSA. Students will learn to use software packages from the Geometry Center like Geomview and the Evolver. We will also discuss graphics in Java and Renderman. More details can be found in the tentative outline.

Prerequisites or their equivalent:

We will mainly use special-purpose software running on Unix workstations. Students will be expected to become familiar with basic text editing and file manipulations in Unix, and to use and produce documents for the Web. We will learn to create input datafiles and scripts for the Evolver, and also to add features to its C source code. We will use Java to write 3D graphics for the Web and RenderMan's shader language to get more realistic graphics of transparent surfaces (as in the picture above).


3 hours or .75 unit. This is a Tutorial/Lab course. Credit is based on the timely and satisfactory completion of a number of assigned projects and a final project of the student's choosing.


Software manuals for the packages we use, and various course handouts.