15-462 Administrative Information for Spring 2006

Time: Tuesday and Thursday from 10:30-11:50 am
Place: PH A18B

Instructor: Doug James

Teaching Assistants:

Liu Ren
  • Email: liuren@cs.cmu.edu
  • Office Hours: TBA
Chris Cameron
  • Email: cmcamero@cs.cmu.edu
  • Office Hours: TBA

Online Resources

The class web page is at
This is the primary online source for information about the course, including assignments, lecture notes, and administrative details.

The class newsgroup is cmu.cs.class.cs462. This group will serve as a Q&A forum. Feel free to ask questions or exchange information. We'll read the group and answer. We'll also post important official announcements there, as well as in the WWW page and occasionally via email.


Required Text

 Fundamentals of Computer Graphics, Second Ed.
 Peter Shirley et al.
  • Hardcover: 662 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters, Ltd.; 2 edition (July, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1568812698
  • Should be available in CMU bookstore (NOTE: get 2nd edition!)

Optional Text

Other Texts and Sources

Grading Information

The following point divisions are still tentative, but will be set in stone before too long.

Grading for the class will be split up as follows:

There will be a total of 1000 points (plus extra credit), so 10 points equals one percentage point.

I can't accurately predict where the letter grade cutoffs will be, but an "A" will require at most 90% (900 points), a "B" will require at most 80% (800 points), etc. To get a good grade, you will be expected to do well in both the programming and the written work (exams and homework). There is a strong correlation between students who come to class and those who do well on the exam.

The programming assignments will also have small amounts of extra credit.

You may use Maple or similar systems to help with algebra on assignments, but where you do, turn in a transcript.

Assignments and Homework

There will be two kinds of assignments: Programming assignments and written homeworks. All homeworks are solo; programming assignments are to be done solo unless otherwise specified. See below for explicit rules about what collaboration is allowed.

For programming assignments, we encourage you to use the software tools we provide (which means working on a platform we support, or bringing the tools up on some other platform yourself.) Supported platforms are the Linux PCs in WeH 5336. If you choose to use something non-standard (at your own risk), you'll need to make one available to us for demos.

Grading on programming assignments is based on your programs' functionality, usability, and on the quality of the animations or images you produce. Programs must of course be your own individual work, although you are free to use the software tools that we provide or comparable tools that perform the same purpose.

This is not a user interface course. We suggest you keep user interface hacking to a minimum (or at least don't let it interfere with getting the graphics working).

Late policy

Programming assignments should be turned in on the day they are due in class by midnight.

Written homeworks will be collected at the end of class they are due or can be put in Doug James's Robotics Institute mailbox on the 4th floor of NSH before 10:00 am the following day.

Late days: Assignments will be deducted 15% of original grade range per late day, i.e., /100% for 0 days late; /85% for 1; /70% for two, etc.

Cheating Policies

Cheating will not be tolerated. Why cheat on such a fun class! <sheesh>  If someone is caught cheating, they will automatically be given 0 points on the assignment, homework, or test that they cheated on, as well as be reported to the authorities. Depending on the severity of the offense, more drastic measures will be taken as outlined in the CMU academic standards.

You may talk about the assignments with others but you must write the code and solve the problems yourself. Sharing answers or using someone else's code (with the exception of utilities that the class provides) constitutes cheating.

What is considered cheating?

What is not considered cheating?

If you aren't certain whether something is or isn't cheating, even by the spirit if not the letter of these guidelines, please ask.

Doug James