EMTM 500 - COMPUTER VISUALIZATION
Saturday, 1:15 pm to 4:15 pm
Third Term, 2004
Course Syllabus (Tentative!)
Dr. Norman Badler
Towne 109; 215-898-7246
(Last update: February 18, 2004)
Introducing the student to the role of visualization as a tool and
critical dimension in the interpretation of scientific and engineering
data. As computer modeling changes the way science is conducted by
bringing high performance simulation capabilities onto the
investigator's desktop, quick, efficient, and effective data
presentation is an essential enhancement for remodel understanding and
Textbook: Handbook of Virtual Environments. Kay Stanney,
ed., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2002.
- March 6: Introduction to Virtual Environments. Focus on Computer
Graphics and Visualization. Motivation. Applications Literature. History.
Basic terminology. [Project assigned]
- March 20: Two-dimensional geometry and transformations. Homogeneous
coordinates, transform concatenation. Hierarchies, viewports, windows, world
coordinates, 2-D viewing transform. Graphics software. Three-dimensional geometry
and transformations. [Project proposal due]
- April 3: Projections, perspective. View volumes. 3D depth cues.
3D modeling; surface and volume representations.
- April 17: Image synthesis, shading, realism, special effects. [+
- May 1: Animation techniques. Physics-based modeling. Real-time animation.
- May 15: Applications. Emerging Technologies. Video examples.
[Final project due]
EMTM 500 - Computer Visualization
Due in class, Saturday, April 3, 2004.
This is the first part of a two-part assignment which will culminate in
the writing of your term paper/case study/project in Computer
Visualization. In this first part you will select some scientific or
engineering domain that you will write about. By the due date you will:
Select a domain.
Describe it so that I can understand it and I will know what boundaries
you are placing on your study.
Briefly outline the types of information that are fundamental to the
domain and for which visualization is needed or potentially useful.
Provide an initial bibliography of suitable information sources for
that domain and its visualization problems.
This part should be about 2 (typed) pages in length.
In the second half of the case study, you will expand items 2, 3, 4 and
5 and propose and describe specific visualization tools that you have
found being used and that you think could or should be used (or not!)
to advance scientific/engineering analysis and understanding. (See
For example, suppose you chose sub-atomic particle physics. Describe
the problem domain, the data collection apparatus and methodologies,
the sort of data collected, and any computer processing needed to make
the data presentable. (How the data is or ought to be actually
visualized will appear in the second part of the assignment.)
Bibliographic items can come from general texts, recent articles in
scientific magazines, computer science or scientific journals, etc.
Encyclopedias may be useful for general information but are frequently
quite out-dated from the computer perspective.
I would like you to pick a topic that is interesting enough to you so
that you can write a nice term paper. If you are doubt, please check
Due at [last] class, Saturday, May 15, 2004.
This is the second part of a two-part assignment which concludes the
writing of your term paper/case study/project in Computer
Visualization. In this second part you will finish the exposition of
the scientific or engineering domain that you selected in Part I.
By the due date (last class) you will:
Describe the data and analysis requirements of that domain in
computational terms. This includes a description of the data collection
apparatus, if applicable, and the data types and formats currently or
popularly in use.
Provide explicit examples of data visualization in this domain.
Describe what visualization methods you have seen and what the results
are. For example, are these methods successful in making you (a
"non-specialist") able to understand the phenomena?
Can you easily see the features of interest or must you be guided by
textual material? If this is a case study or this subject is in your
area of expertise, tell how it helps you understand or communicate the
critical issues or features of the problem domain. Include copies of
interesting/relevant figures. If none are available, draw or find
similar types of figures which might be useful in elucidating the
information in your subject domain.
What are the options that you might propose to aid in the visualization
of relevant data? You are not being asked to make a definitive
contribution, but you could apply or at least evaluate some of the
knowledge and general visualization techniques to this domain.
Try to provide quantitative data to indicate the scale/magnitude of the
various processes of your domain. For example, storage requirements,
data analysis time, data presentation time, number of images required
(one versus many for an animation), cost of suitable display equipment
(are single images all right, or do you need interaction, or real-time
animation), etc. How are visualization techniques helping to reduce the
magnitude of the problem (in data, time, cost, personnel, etc.) to
managable levels (if that is the case)?
Provide an ANNOTATED bibliography of suitable information sources for
that domain and its visualization problems. I cannot possibly read all
your sources, so you must summarize each of them for me in a short
paragraph. Please do not just retype the abstract; the annotation is
your own summary and tells me primarily how the source related to your
As a rough guideline, this part should be about 8-12 (typed) pages in
length, figures and bibliography extra.
NOTE: This is to be done individually. You should not just cut and paste
other people's work! It needs to be your own synthsis and not a report to