The project will involve performing a substantial dynamic optimization, and writing a paper about it. The writeup is as important as the programming (if not more so) and will be in the format of a conference paper (more on that later). Those of you who already have a dynamic optimization problem you are working on for your research should work on that (subject to the Professor's approval). Another option is to work on the problem or algorithm described in one of the papers below, ideally comparing multiple dynamic optimization approaches (again, subject to the Professor's approval).
See also alternative project below.
Robust Physics-Based Locomotion Using Low-Dimensional Planning
CGA comment: How are foot locations chosen for discrete foothold choices?
Optimizing Walking Controllers for Uncertain Inputs and Environments
Optimizing Walking Controllers
Optimal Feedback Control for Character Animation Using an Abstract Model
Terrain-Adaptive Bipedal Locomotion Control
CGA comment: Is this suitable for course ???
Feature-Based Locomotion Controllers
Prioritized Optimization for Task-Space Control
Deformable Object Animation Using Reduced Optimal Control
Optimal Gait and Form for Animal Locomotion
Linear Bellman Combination for Control of Character Animation
Contact-aware Nonlinear Control of Dynamic Characters
Compact Character Controllers
Robust Task-based Control Policies for Physics-based Characters
Something from the work of Tom Erez
Something from the work of Emanuel Todorov
Something from the work of Todd Murphey (look for "Optimization in title)
Something from the work of Pierre-Brice Wieber
Something from the work of Dimitar Dimitrov
Something from the work of Katja Mombaur
Another project is to figure out how to utilize multi-core GPUs (>100 cores) for dynamic optimization. I will find a way to get you access to a test system. An excellent writeup is still necessary.
Wikipedia: Nvidia Tesla
Nvidia: C1060 single PCI Express card with 240 1.3GHz processors on it for about $1300
C2050 for $2300