In this course we will examine hardware, software, and cognitive foundations involved in creating state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR). The purpose of this course is two-fold: (a) to provide students with both a deep understanding of the fundamentals of VR and (b) to gain practical experience with consumer-grade VR systems (such as the Oculus Rift). We will explore the challenges to develop and analyze VR systems that are effective and comfortable, motivated by design goals, and constrained by the real world. We will also explore the relationship of VR to augmented reality (AR) hardware, software, cognition, and design.
Virtual reality (VR) technology transports us to real or synthetic places that may be inaccessible, breathtaking, complex beyond our wildest imagination, or just simple and relaxing. Applications include entertainment, social interaction, virtual travel, remote training, architectural walkthroughs, cultural appreciation, and learning enhancement. Although VR has been around for decades, it always came with a high cost to enter the field because of advanced, expensive equipment and computing resources. Thanks to widespread progress in display, sensing, and computational technology, the newest VR systems are cheap, lightweight, and easy to program. This has caused a flood of excitement as almost anyone can pick up a VR headset and start developing experiences. The purpose of this course is to provide students with both a deep understanding of the fundamentals of VR and to gain practical experience. Because VR tricks our brains by presenting synthetic stimuli to our senses, it is extremely challenging to develop and analyze VR systems that are both effective and comfortable. To get a handle on these issues, this course will fuse together knowledge from a variety of relevant topics, including computer graphics, tracking systems, and perceptual psychology.
In this course, I will cover:
At the end of this course, you will be able to:
Term: Spring 2019
Location: WEB L226
Date and Time: MW / 04:35PM-05:55PM
Instructor: Rogelio E. Cardona-Rivera
CS 5963. "C-" or better in CS 3500 and Full Major status in (Games or Computer Science or Computer Engineering)
CS 6360. "C-" or better in EAE 6310 or Graduate Standing in Computer Science. (Meets with CS 5963; extra work required for this class.)
This course will primarily be lecture-based, with in-class discussions around material, assignments, and projects and out-of-class assignments, projects, and reflections.
LaValle, Steven M. Virtual Reality. (Self-published), 2016.
Other textbooks that may be referenced (but which are not requred) are:
Shirley, Peter, Michael Ashikhmin, and Steve Marschner. Fundamentals of Computer Graphics (3rd ed). A. K. Peters/CRC Press (2009)