DS 501(35400): Design in Virtual Reality Spring 2014

Course Information
This course introduces students to the field of Virtual Reality and focuses on creating immersive, interactive virtual experiences.

Topics include:

  • Historical Perspectives on Virtual Reality Technology
  • Computer Graphics and 3-D Modeling
  • Human Perception and Psychology
  • Human Computer Interaction

This course is designed for students with backgrounds in Computer Science, Engineering, Art, Architecture, and Design. Students will be working in interdisciplinary teams on projects, culminating in a final event that will be showcased to the public.

Schedule: MWF 11:00-11:50

PreReqs: None

Book: Reading material for the course will be listed the class website. There will be no textbook for the course.

The content for the course will be determined by the interests of the students taking the class.  A rough outline of the schedule can be found below.

Weeks 1 -4
The course will introduce students to the field of VR. Readings will cover ideas of presence, history, and basic technology challenges for VR. Assignments will work to build fundamentals for design in the class.

Weeks 5-8
This section will dive into design considerations for Virtual Reality. Readings will focus on methods, goals, critiques of VR. Students will build a virtual environment for their second assignment. Students will develop project ideas.

Weeks 9-12
This section will cover technology and applications in with Virtual Reality. Readings will focus on use cases, experiments and applications of virtual environments. Students will form and begin the development of their final projects.

Weeks 13-15
This section will cover the future for Virtual Reality technology. Readings will focus on Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Brain Computer Interfaces, and experimental technologies. Students will be expected to complete their final projects during this time. Final presentations will occur before finals.

Attendance and Participation 20%
Students will be expected to be at all classes. As issues may arise, one miss is allowed. All additional misses will deduct 5% per occurrence. Students are also expected to be active in in-class discussions (i.e. participation). Students who are not engaged will see a reduction this portion of their grade as well.

Reading 20%

We will have weekly readings that will be posted on the website. These reading will also include some questions. These questions should be answer by making a comment on the posting by 11:59 on Sunday.

Assignments 20%

We will have three assignments as a means to build up into the project. These assignments will be done individually. The first assignment will be a warm-up exercise, the second assignment will be to build an environment, the third assignment will be pitch a project idea to the class. All assignments will be posted on the class website

Projects 40%

The final projects will be large part of the grade. Students will be expected to come up with a project idea and description that will be posted online. Students will update the status of the project both online and in in-class discussion on a weekly basis. The final projects will be shown in a public event. Grades will be based on the quality of the final product and the documentation of the work.

1. Students are responsible to be aware of announcements on the course web. This will be the primary way for making announcements.
2. Class attendance is mandatory, and participation is an essential component.
3. Late assignments (and work) are strongly discouraged and will result in a reduction in
your grade. Deadlines are there for a reason. Please consult the instructor if a
circumstance arises that requires a deadline extension.
4. Students are to use the course web (Wiki) in a responsible manner. You should not
exploit the lack of security. For example, do not damage another person’s work, or look at someone else’s writing before you complete your own. Do not do anything that prevents the instructor from being able to read or edit any work.
5. Students must give proper attribution for any pieces used as part of their work.
6. Students will be expected to contribute during class discussions.
7. Students taking this course will be expected to work with teams of individuals who may
or may not be associated with their major.
8. Students will be granted access to work with higher end technology. Therefore any abuse of these privileges will have severe repercussions.