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[Anatomy of a Course Proposal]
 
These observations come from seeing good and poor course proposals over several years -- some good enough to win unanimous acceptance from the Courses Jury, and some so weak as to receive unanimous rejection. We hope that by taking some of these suggestions to heart, your proposal will be one of the strong ones.

A. Proposing a Course

Here we discuss some typical course topics by thematic type.

"Bread-and-Butter" Topics
There is always a need for courses that address the fundamental techniques. Some examples of these in recent years are:

Computer Graphics Fundamentals
Introduction to Computer Graphics (#33, 2002)

Building Interactive Spaces (#34, 2002)

Color
A Field Guide to Digital Color (#21, 2002)

A Survey of Color for Computer Graphics (#4, 2001)

Color Science and Color Management for CGI and Film (#21, 2000)

Modeling
Acquiring Material Models Using Inverse Rendering (#39, 2002)

Image-Based Modeling (#44, 2002)

Obtaining 3D Models with a Hand-Held Camera (#54, 2002)

Physically Based Modeling (#25, 2001)

3D Hardcopy: Converting Virtual Reality to Physical Models (#39, 2001)

State of the Art in Modeling and Measuring of Surface Reflection (#10, 2001)

Modeling for Medical Applications (#20, 2000)

Parallel Environments
Practical Parallel Rendering (#22, 2002)

Practical Parallel Processing for Today's Rendering Challenges (#40, 2001)

3D Inter-Networked Computer Graphics: Overcoming Bottlenecks, Supporting Collaboration, and Stepping up to Wireless Connectivity (#26, 2001)

Rendering and Visualization in Parallel Environments (#13, 2000)

Shapes
Beyond Blobs: Recent Advances in Implicit Surfaces (#29, 2002)

A Primer on Shapes: Curves and Surfaces (#7, 2001)

New Directions in Shape Representations (#33, 2001)

Visual Curves and Surfaces: A Non-Technical Approach (#11, 2000)

Volume Graphics
High-Quality Volume Graphics on Consumer PC Hardware (#42, 2002)

Image Processing for Volume Graphics (#50, 2002)

Volume Graphics (#41, 1999)

Conceptual/Perceptual
Perceptual and Artistic principles for Effective Computer Depiction (#13, 2002)

Design of Interactive Multimodal Systems (#15, 2002)

Understanding Virtual Environments: Immersion, Presence and Performance (#49, 2002)

Novel Topics
Proposals for novel course topics are highly regarded. Some examples of these in recent years are:

Using Tensor Diagrams to Represent and Solve Geometric Problems (#25, 2002)

Dynamic Media On Demand: Exploring Wireless and Wired Streaming Technologies and Content (#48, 2002)

Computer Graphics for Large-Scale Immersive Theaters (#?, 2001)

Digital Geometry Processing (#50, 2001)

Seeing in 3D (#42, 2001)

Convergence of Scientific Visualization Methods with the Technology of Digital Cinema (D-cinema) (#45, 2000)

Advanced Topics
SIGGRAPH conference attendees expect both introductory coverage and advanced coverage, so we seek to satisfy both of these needs via a combination of courses at various levels. Since there is commonly a shortage of proposals for advanced coverage, it is sometimes advantageous to submit such a proposal. Some examples of advanced coverage in recent years are:

Advanced Global Illumination (#2, 2002)

Mathematical Optimization in Graphics and Vision (#51,2002)

State of the Art in Hardware and Shading (#17, 2002)

State of the Art in Monte Carlo Ray Tracing for Realistic Image Synthesis (#29, 2001)

A Practical Guide to Global Illumination Using Photon Mapping (#43, 2002) Geometric Algebra (#53, 2001)

Computer Graphics Beyond the Third Dimension (#46, 1998)

Tools, API's, and Other Practical Topics
As new tools come along, many attendees are anxious to learn about and master these tools, so there is typically high demand for those topics. The annual SIGGRAPH conference is mindful of providing instruction in these topics as a service to the graphics community. However, the conference must not be perceived as an avenue for commercial exploitation, and course presenters must be careful to avoid presenting this image, in fact or in appearance. Course proposals that appear to be commercially exploitive will therefore have a diminished likelihood of acceptance by the Courses Jury.


Integration of Art, Industry, and Science
The annual SIGGRAPH conference has strong appeal for the technical community. Some regard this as depreciatory to the SIGGRAPH community representing art and industry. But in fact, these communities have much to offer one another. For example, technical activity often benefits significantly from artistic insight. Artists correctly note that there are generally few courses of relevance to them. We invite artists to propose courses for themselves and for the graphics community at large. We also invite entrepreneurs and others from the industry to propose courses for the larger graphics community.

B. Submission Requirements

The required items in the Submission Procedure Checklist are repeated here, along with some discussion for most of them, and also links to some good examples. Note that the course submission requirements are similar to those from previous years, but some new items have been included. Also, please note that the only acceptable method of submitting a course proposal is via the online SIGGRAPH 2003 Courses Submission Form.

There is no minimum or maximum length requirement for a course proposal. Nonetheless, proposals with fewer than five pages generally do not fare well; it is unlikely that sufficiently good responses to the required items are possible with so few pages. Good proposals tend to be between five and 15 pages in length. Longer proposals are not encouraged, since the number of proposals generally make it impractical for course reviewers and for the Courses Jury to give them the attention they deserve.

SIGGRAPH 2003 Courses Submission Form
All course proposals must submitted via the online submission system. This process begins with a SIGGRAPH 2003 Courses Submission Form. All course proposal materials can then be uploaded and tracked via this system. No other submission method is permitted. If the submission form is not received by the deadline, the submission will not be considered. The SIGGRAPH 2003 Courses Submission Form will guide you through each of the required steps.

Course Title
This is needed in order to rapidly identify the proposal when many are being examined, and in order to match the proposal with the preceding Courses Submission Form, which is usually sent separately.

Course Organizer

Proposed Length
Please indicate the proposed length of the course (full-day, half-day, tutorial).

Proposed Presentation Venue
Indicate what type of space you would prefer to present your course: a regular session room, a specially configured session room, and/or a collaboration with another program, such as the Guerilla Studio. The Creative Applications Lab (CAL) will not be available for SIGGRAPH 2003. There may be an opportunity to accommodate up to two half-day hands-on sessions in the Internet Access Room, but these will be invited rather than juried sessions. Course organizers may also wish to consider formats that support speaker/attendee dialogues, rather than traditional presenter monologues.

Summary Statement
This should be no more than two or three sentences that provide a concise description of the course. The Summary Statement appears on the SIGGRAPH 2003 Web site and elsewhere. Publication deadlines preclude revision of this statement after the Courses Jury meeting in February, so it must be accurate in your proposal.

This item, as well as the expanded statement, prerequisites, and topics covered, are critical for helping attendees select courses that are appropriate to their interests and prior expertise. So please take care to provide accurate statements. Examples for all four statement items as they might apply to a course are given in in Examples C1.

Names of Speakers
Please list the names of the course speakers. Their biographies should be appended at the end of the proposal.

Expanded Statement
This should be a more detailed description of the course (about 100 words or less). It will appear on the SIGGRAPH 2003 Web site and also in the Program & Buyer's Guide.

Prerequisites
This should explicitly convey to prospective attendees the kinds of things that they need to know in order to follow the course presentation (about 50 words or less). Prerequisites might include background in mathematics, experience with graphics, background in particular application areas, etc. This information will appear on the Web site and in the Program & Buyer's Guide.

Topics Covered
This should explicitly convey what the course will cover beyond the prerequisites (50 words or less). The distinction between this and the preceding should be as crisp as possible. It will appear on the Web site and in the Program & Buyer's Guide.

Course Syllabus
This is the heart of the proposal. Clearly, it must tell what topics will be covered. But more than that, it should enumerate the order in which they will be covered, how much time will be allotted to each, and who of the presenters will deal with each of them. The sequencing of the material should demonstrate a coherent approach, and the syllabus should convey that there will be more than just "show-and-tell" (a sometime complaint). An organizer should under no circumstance have a presenter who would use SIGGRAPH 2003 for commercial promotion. Some examples of good syllabi are in the Examples C2.

Suggestions for Shorter Presentations
Proposers of full-day and half-day courses should include suggestions for shorter presentations based on the components of the original proposal.

Course History
A large proportion of SIGGRAPH courses tend to be repeats. The Courses Committee looks at such proposals very carefully, with three things in mind:

How much interest is there still for such a course? It is common for demand to grow for several years, and then rapidly decline.

If the course is a repeat, do the syllabus and the rest of the proposal show that it is being upgraded, and not simply repeated?

How responsive is the proposal to the course evaluations from preceding years? Does the syllabus reflect adjustment to criticisms, where warranted? When presenters have gotten noticeably poor evaluations, has the organizer responded by changing those presenters?
Course proposals that address new topics are, as stated previously, very much welcomed. Such topics may be so new, in fact, that some justification is in order, to help the reviewers and the Courses Jury form a balanced view of the topic.

Course Notes Description
Course notes typically contain tutorial notes by the speakers and also reprints of relevant papers. Since so many courses use images (e.g., in PowerPoint), the course notes should incorporate these images as well. Course notes without copies of the images are a common cause of poor course evaluations!

Special Notes Requirements
SIGGRAPH 2003 will produce printed course notes for each course, but will not pay for the cost of other materials (textbooks, videos, etc.) to be included with the notes.

Special Presentation Requirements
Course organizers and presenters are responsible for providing their own audio/visual and computer equipment in the course rooms over and above that which SIGGRAPH 2003 provides as the basic configuration (projection screen, a high-resolution video/data projector, video and audio playback, a standing lectern, a laser pointer, two microphones, a Windows PC and a Macintosh, and supporting hardware and software). If any networking access will be needed, this is the place to spell that out.

Course Presenters' Information
All course presenters must have agreed to participate by the time of the proposal deadline. For each of them (including the organizer/presenter), please provide: name, title, affiliation, address, work phone, home phone, fax number, email address, and a short biography. This information is crucial for assessing how competent the presenters are to teach the material. Although many course presenters are already well-known to the Courses Committee, some are not. Furthermore, some course reviewers may not be as familiar with a presenter as might be presumed. The committee must sometimes pass over proposals with insufficient biographical information. It is up to the organizer to demonstrate that the presenters are likely to be competent. A good biography will typically be a third to a half page. It should not be a résumé with a long list of publications. Some examples of good biographies are in Examples C3.

Organizer Contact Information
Occasionally, there is a need to contact the course organizer shortly before, during, or immediately after the jury meeting, so SIGGRAPH 2003 needs to have accurate contact information (including phone numbers) for the period of mid-January through March 2003.



C. Examples

C1. Example Statements

Here are three examples of sets of the statement items from the submissions requirements. Each example illustrates how the statements might have been provided for an actual SIGGRAPH course, if this method of describing courses had been in use at the time.

The following are for "Procedural Modeling" by David Ebert, 1996.

Summary Statement
This course imparts a working knowledge of procedural approaches in modeling, shading, and animation. Procedural approaches include solid texturing, hypertextures, volume density functions, character animation, fractals, artificial evolution, L-systems, and implicit surfaces. The course provides participants with details often omitted from technical papers, explores the design of procedures, and presents new material in procedural modeling and animation.

Expanded Statement

This course imparts a working knowledge of several procedural approaches in shading, modeling, and animation. An in-depth description of basic primitive functions (e.g, noise and turbulence) will be presented, followed by a progression in the use of procedural techniques from hypertextures to gas, liquid, and fire volume density functions. Procedural character animation techniques will be discussed. Procedural modeling techniques will be explored further, including implicit surfaces, IFS, L-systems, fractal applications and artificial evolution techniques for texturing and object modeling. The course will conclude with a panel session for discussing tricks of the trade, common pitfalls, and future directions.

Prerequisites
The participants should have a working knowledge of rendering, shading, and solid texturing techniques. Some knowledge of fractals and volume rendering will be useful, but is not
required.

Topics Beyond the Prerequisites
The topics presented will include procedural texturing, hypertextures, volume density functions, modeling and animating volumetric gases, procedural character animation, implicit surfaces, IFS, L-systems, fractals, simulation of natural phenomena, and artificial evolution.

The following are for "Programming Virtual Worlds" by Anselmo Lastra, 1997.

Summary Statement
This course provides an introduction to virtual reality, primarily using immersive displays. It covers hardware system requirements, design of applications, an introduction to haptics, and the implementation of virtual worlds. The emphasis of the course is on the practical issues that must be addressed to begin working in virtual environments.

Expanded Statement
This course provides an introduction to virtual reality (VR), primarily using immersive displays. We begin with an overview of VR systems, then discuss the basic hardware components. We conclude the morning with a lecture on the design of virtual worlds, focusing on modes of interaction in the virtual environment. The first two afternoon sessions show the students how to implement their virtual worlds using two development systems. The first, Alice, is a free, interpreted, rapid-prototyping environment. A goal for Alice is to allow programmers to build virtual worlds based on a 10 page, two-hour long tutorial. The second system, dVS, is a commercial software environment for the development of professional virtual reality applications. The last section of the course covers the basics of haptics (force feedback). We'll first introduce the field and the basic concepts and take a closer look at applications using low-cost force feedback devices.

Prerequisites
Basic knowledge of 3D computer graphics such as that provided by the SIGGRAPH introductory course. Programming experience using a 3D library for interactive graphics may be helpful.

Topics Beyond the Prerequisites
The course covers specifications of VR hardware (displays, image generators, trackers, etc.), modes of interaction in a virtual environment (grabbing, moving, selecting, etc.), the use of toolkits to design virtual worlds, and the basics of haptics, principally the use of low-cost force feedback devices.

The following are for "Introduction to VRML" by David Nadeau, 1997.

Summary Statement
Participants in this course will learn how to use VRML (the Virtual Reality Modeling Language) to author their own 3D virtual worlds on the World Wide Web. Participants will learn the syntax of VRML, typical usage patterns, ways of avoiding common mistakes, animation and scene design technique, and tricks for increasing performance and realism.

Expanded Statement
VRML (the Virtual Reality Modeling Language) has emerged as the de facto standard for describing 3D shapes and scenery on the World Wide Web. VRML's technology has broad applicability, including Web-based entertainment, distributed visualization, 3D user interfaces to remote Web resources, 3D collaborative environments, interactive simulations for education, virtual museums, virtual retail spaces, and more. VRML is a key multi-platform technology shaping the future of the Web. Participants in this course will learn how to use VRML to author their own 3D virtual worlds on the World Wide Web. Participants will learn the syntax of VRML, typical usage patterns, ways of avoiding common mistakes, animation and scene design technique, and tricks for increasing performance and realism.

Prerequisites
This course assumes a basic understanding of computers and algebra, as well as a beginning level understanding of 3D graphics concepts, such as that obtained via the SIGGRAPH beginning graphics course. Familiarity with computer programming is helpful, but not required.

Topics Beyond the Prerequisites
This course teaches VRML syntax for building 3D interactive environments that include shapes, lights, sounds, and embedded animations. Advanced portions of the course teach animation programming using scripts written in Java and JavaScript.


C2. Example Syllabi

Here are three examples of good syllabi. To begin with, the details given in the Syllabus should match the course objectives in the Expanded Statement #8. Also, the development of the material over time should be coherent. Each reviewer of a course proposal will be weighing the syllabus in the light of his/her experience: Does the progression of topics, and the time allotted for each, seem reasonable? Are attendees likely to find the course, or parts of it, too elementary or too advanced, based upon the submission requirements statements? Note that a good syllabus tells us what, in what order, for how long, and by which presenter.

"Dynamic Media on Demand: Exploring Wireless & Wired Streaming Technologies & Content" by Theresa-Marie Rhyne, 2002, Full Day

8:30 am - 10:15 am Component #1
Component #1: 105 minutes (1.75 hours) in length
Topic: Overview of 2D & 3D Streaming Media in Wired & Wireless Environments
(Presenter: Theresa-Marie Rhyne - Time Frame: 60 minutes)
Case Study: Project Numina - A Multidisciplinary Application of Handheld Computers to Enhance Student Learning
(Presenter: Ron Vetter - Time Frame: 45 minutes)
10:15 - 10:30 AM Break
10:30 AM - 12:15 PM Module #2
Component #2: 105 minutes (1.75 hours) in length
Topic: Media Architectures, Management, and Exploitation
(Presenter: Alan Turner - Time Frame: 60 minutes)
Case Study: Project Hurricane - Creating a 3D Engine for the PocketPC Platform
(Presenter: Lars Bishop & David Holmes - Time Frame: 45 minutes)
12:15 - 1:30 PM Lunch
1:30 - 3:15 PM Module #3
Component #3: 105 minutes (1.75 hours) in length
Topic: Continuous Media in Wired and Wireless Environments
(Presenter: Ron Vetter - Time Frame: 60 minutes)
Case Study: SMIL Templates, Captioned Content, and other Web Guides for Online Instruction
(Presenter: Theresa-Marie Rhyne - Time Frame: 45 minutes)
3:15 - 3:30 PM Break
3:30 - 5:15 PM Module #4
Component #4: 105 minutes (1.75 hours) in length
Topic: Games and 3D Rendering on Handheld Devices
(Presenter: Lars Bishop & David Holmes - Time Frame: 60 minutes)
Case Study: Integrated Multimedia Information Capture, Management, and Exploitation at the FBI
(Presenter: Alan Turner - Time Frame: 45 minutes)

"Programming with OpenGL: Advanced Techniques" by Tom McReynolds, 1997 Full Day.

A. Introduction (10 min) McReynolds
B. Advanced Texture Mapping (45 min) Blythe
1. Large Textures
2. Projective Textures
3. Billboarding
4. Procedural Textures
C. Antialiasing (20 min) Hui
1. Antialiasing with Textures
2. Antialiasing with Accumulation Buffer
D. High Quality Rendering (50 min) McReynolds
1. High Quality Mip Maps
2. Phong Shading
3. Bump Mapping with Textures
4. Reflections and Refractions
5. Transparency
E. Stencil Buffer Tricks (30 min) Hui
1. Stencil Dissolves
2. Stencil Decaling
3. Finding Depth Complexity
4. Constructive Solid Geometry
F. Scene Quality (45 min) Fowler
1. Depth of Field
2. Motion Blur
3. Shadows
G. Image Processing (30 min) Fowler
1. Convolution
2. Image Warping with Textures
3. Color Space Operations
H. Volume Rendering (45 min) McReynolds
1. With 3D Textures
2. With 2D Textures
3. Textures as Multidimensional Functions
4. Advanced Billboards
I. Performance Techniques (45 min) Womack
1. Segmenting OpenGL Functionality
2. More Sorting
3. Fast Hidden Surface Removal
4. Fast Texturing
5. Fast Picking of Complex Scenes
J. Natural Phenomena (45 min) Blythe
1. Smoke
2. Fire
3. Clouds
4. Water
K. Modeling (45 min) Hui
1. Meshing
2. T-Intersections
3. NURBS
L. Summary, Questions and Answers (variable) All

"Information Visualization" by Nahum Gershon, 1996 Half Day.

1:30 pm: Introduction (Gershon)
What is visualization
Course outline and schedule
1:40 pm: Types of Visualized Information (Eick)
Networks
Hierarchies
Cityscapes
Text (structure and contents)
Icons
Long lists and tables
2:10 pm: Visualization of Retrieved Information (Card)
Large collections of documents
Small collections of documents
Single documents
2:40 pm: Aspects of Information Visualization (Gershon)
Information visualization versus scientific data visualization
Understanding the new media of computers, visual computing, display
3:00 pm: Break
3:15 pm: Visualizing the Internet and the World Wide Web (Gershon)
Browsing the WWW
Searching the WWW
Building one's own information space
Designing WWW pages
3:45 pm: Making Sense of Information (Card)
4:15 pm: Usability Considerations (Eick)
4:45 pm: Perceptual Considerations (Gershon)
4:55 pm: Case Studies
Software and network information (Eick)
Information analysis (Gershon)
5:25 pm: Discussion and Resources (All)



C3. Example Biographies

Here are three examples of good biographies. Each tells important things for assessing how well these people can organize and present a course in the given topic. We can judge that they are competent, from their backgrounds and from their ongoing activities. Also, they demonstrate experience in teaching the material. Finally, though less important, a record of prior SIGGRAPH contributions can be an indicator for repeat success. Moreover, this information is given sufficiently yet concisely.

Victoria Interrante in "Principles of Visual Perception and its Applications in Computer Graphics", 1997.
Victoria Interrante is a staff scientist at ICASE, a center of research in applied mathematics, numerical analysis, and computer science operated by the Universities Space Research Association at the NASA Langley Research Center. She received a PhD in Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1996, where she completed a dissertation under the direction of Drs. Henry Fuchs and Stephen Pizer on the design of perceptually inspired artistic techniques for improving the comprehensibility of layered transparent surfaces. Her current research focuses on the application of insights from perceptual psychophysics, art, and illustration to the design of more effective techniques for visualizing data, the study of shape and depth perception, and the use of texture to convey 3D shape and flow information. While a graduate student at UNC, she independently organized and taught an undergraduate summer course in computer graphics, and she developed a tutorial for Visualization '96 on insights for data visualization from perceptual psychophysics and graphics design.

Bill Lorensen in "Volume Visualization", 1997.
Bill Lorensen is a Graphics Engineer in the Electronics Systems Laboratory at the General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center in Schenectady, New York, and is currently working on algorithms for 3D medical graphics and scientific visualization. His other interests include computer animation, color graphics systems for data presentation, and object-oriented software tools. He is the author or co-author of more than 50 technical articles on topics ranging from finite element pre/postprocessing, 3D medical imaging, computer animation, and object-oriented design. He is the co-author of "Object Oriented Modeling and Design" with Prentice Hall. Prior to joining General Electric in 1978, he was a mathematician at the US Army Benet Weapons Laboratory, where he worked on computer graphics software for structural analysis. He holds a BS in Mathematics and an MS in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Luiz Velho in "Warping and Morphing of Graphical Objects", 1997.
Luiz Velho is an Associate Professor at IMPA - Instituto do Matematica Pura e Aplicada. He received a BE in Industrial Design from ESDI - Universidade do Rio de Janeiro in 1979, a MS in Computer Graphics from the MIT Media Laboratory in 1985, and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto in 1994. His experience in computer graphics spans the fields of modeling, rendering, imaging, and animation. During 1982 he was a visiting researcher at the National Film Board of Canada. From 1985 to 1987 he was a systems engineer at the Fantastic Animation Machine in New York, where he developed the company's 3D visualization system. From 1987 to 1991 he was a principal engineer at Globo TV Network in Brazil, where he created special effects and visual simulation systems. In 1994 he was a visiting professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University. He is the author of several books in graphics, and has published several papers in this area. He has been a speaker in two SIGGRAPH courses, "Modeling in Graphics" for SIGGRAPH 93, and "Warping and Morphing of Graphical Objects" for SIGGRAPH 94. His current research interests include theoretical foundations of computer graphics, physically-based methods, wavelets, modeling with implicit objects, and volume visualization.
 

 

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