Seminar in Geometry and Animation

Eitan Grinspun
Location BA B025
Time Wednesdays 12:00 – 2:00pm.

This course will take a deep look at a broad collection of seminal papers in computer graphics, focusing on topics in geometry processing and computer animation. The course is structured around weekly paper readings. All students will read the same paper each week, but each student will have a unique, rotating role. This role defines the lens through which they read the paper and determines what they prepare for the group in-class discussion. Students will obtain a thorough understanding of the chosen papers and will develop their paper reading, literature review and prototyping skills. Prior exposure to computer graphics or geometry processing is suggested but not required. Students should have taken courses in Linear Algebra and Computer Programming.

Weekly Work

Everyone, every week: Read the assigned paper. Come up with a new title for the current paper. Identify or speculate on missing result the paper could have included.

Role Playing

This seminar is organized around the different “roles” students play each week. New roles may be introduced, and others retired, during the semester. Initially, we will consider these roles:

  • SIGGRAPH Reviewer: Complete a full—critical but not necessarily negative—review of the paper. Answer all questions on the SIGGRAPH Review Form.
  • Illustrator: Design one or more illustrations to accompany the paper. Illustrations might clarify the overall approach (e.g., a pipeline schematic) or a technical component (e.g., a matrix or other mathematical diagram). You might also critically revise existing illustrations in the paper to make them more effective.
  • Archaeologist: Stand on the shoulders of giants. Identify a sequence of citations (a prior work, the prior work of the prior work, etc.), and trace back how a specific idea, described in the dawn of ages, has evolved, shaped, inspired, and influenced the current paper.
  • Historian: Contextualize the present work. Discuss one prior work cited by the current paper, and one follow-up work that cites the current paper. By surveying the SIGGRAPH, Symposium on Geometry Processing, and/or Symposium on Computer Animation Proceedings around those times, try identify any relevant trends that are relevant to the paper.
  • Futurist: Discuss how the ideas of our paper influenced, inspired, or enabled subsequent work. Identify and discuss one arc of work that emanated from the current paper. Extrapolate this arc of work to hypothetical technology in the future.
  • PhD Student: Propose an immediate, concrete, imaginary follow project only possible due to the existence and success of the current paper.
  • Industry R&D Expert: Convince us (your industry bosses) that it’s worth your time and money to implement this paper into our company’s pipeline. Choose an appropriate company and product or application.
  • Hacker: Implement a small part of the paper or simplified (e.g. 2D instead of 3D) version of the paper. Prepare a demo of your work for the class.
  • Private Investigator: Find out background information on the paper authors. Where have they worked? What did they study? What do they do now? What previous projects might have led to working on this one? We encourage you to contact the authors, but remember to be courteous, polite and on topic. Write that you’re in Prof. Grinspun’s seminar and include a link to this page.
  • Ethicist: Discuss the sociological and ethical questions that arise from the current work. The question may relate to the research process (e.g., evaluation), the research impact (e.g., application areas), or any other aspect of the research. You may refer to current events (news clippings, etc.), societal trends, or even science fiction. Try to make the connection to an ethical question as concrete as possible.
Useful links

Role-playing sign up sheet

Weekly presentation

  • 60% participation
  • 40% quality of findings
  • equal weight for every role, except…
  • …double weight for hacker role

Faculty at DGP, Dept of Computer Science UofT