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Courses Program Fact Sheet

Conference: 12 - 17 August 2001
Exhibition: 14 - 16 August 2001

Los Angeles Convention Center
Los Angeles, California USA

SIGGRAPH 2001 courses provide in-depth instruction on a variety of topics for all practitioners of the trade. Courses range from introductory and refresher topics to cutting edge technologies that combine computer graphics with other aspects of computing. A record number of courses will be presented at SIGGRAPH 2001 with 27 full-day and 17 half-day courses, and 10 two-hour tutorials.

"Fifty-four courses are being presented this year covering quite a range of topics," said Lou Harrison, from North Carolina State University, SIGGRAPH 2001 Courses Chair. "Each year we try to push the envelope a little bit farther, and this year, we had so many great proposals, we had to find a way to include as many as possible. One course we are very excited about is 'How to Present at the Annual SIGGRAPH Conference.' It will be a light-hearted look at some of the best, and worst practices of presenting in a high pressure environment like SIGGRAPH."

Courses Highlights

3D Hardcopy: Converting Virtual Reality to Physical Models
Organizers: Sara McMains and Carlo Sequin, University of California, Berkeley
Traditionally, computer graphics has rendered 3D virtual objects in 2D, but the latest 3D rapid prototyping technologies can quickly and easily transform a 3D computer model into a physical 3D model. In this course, attendees learn about commercial rapid prototyping systems and promising new technologies. The course also covers software techniques used to transform a VR model into realizable geometry and a process plan for a rapid prototyping system.

From Ivory Tower to Silver Screen: Visual Effects Companies Reveal How Research and Development Finds its Way Into Production
Organizers: Jill Smolin, Cinesite Visual Effects and Pam Hogarth, Gnomon School of Visual Effects
In this course, presenters from six top visual effects companies discuss the many ways they use research to augment production of major feature films including "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," Monsters, Inc.," Shrek," "Stuart Little 2," and "AI."

Gaming Techniques for Designing Compelling Virtual Worlds
Organizer: Michael Capps, Naval Postgraduate School
Presents the world-building tricks of the computer game trade, which is a multi-billion dollar competition to build the most enticing and immersive virtual environments. Speakers describe their approaches to designing environments, review their experiences (both good and bad), and showcase their latest technologies.

How to Give a Great SIGGRAPH Talk
Organizer: Charles Poynton
One of the most demanding public-speaking environments is the annual SIGGRAPH conference, where audience expectations are dauntingly high. There are specific, practical ways to make public speaking less terrifying, and to create presentations that will satisfy even a SIGGRAPH audience. This course show how to prepare and deliver a great talk.

The Impact of Public Policy on Computer Graphics
Organizers: Robert Ellis, ACM SIGGRAPH Public Policy Program Chair and Barbara Simons, ACM Past President and USACM (ACM US Public Policy)Co-Chair
As personal computers proliferate and access to the Internet increases use of and access to computer graphics, researchers, developers, and practitioners confront policy and legal issues that increasingly affect their professional activities. This course explores the technical and policy issues associated with intellectual property, digital copy protection, digital and high-definition video, support for computer graphics research, deployment of broadband telecommunications, and the role of technical societies.

Intro to SMIL
Organizer: Kathy Barshatzky
SMIL (Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) is an XML-based language that allows authors to write interactive multimedia presentations. Authors can specify the temporal behavior of a presentation, associate hyperlinks with media objects, and describe the layout of the presentation. In this tutorial, attendees learn the syntax of SMIL and author their own interactive presentations. This hands-on course is presented in the Creative Applications Lab.

An Introduction to the Kaman Filters
Organizers: Gregory Welch and Gary Bishop, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Kalman filter and related optimal estimators continue to appear in a wide variety of computer graphics applications. The Kalman filter is an optimal estimator for a large class of problems and an effective and useful estimator for an even larger class. This course presents an intuitive approach that enables developers to approach the extensive literature with confidence.

Seeing in 3D
Organizers: Geoff Wyvill, University of Otago and Bob Parslow, Consultant
"Stand a cube on its corner. What is the shape of a horizontal cross-section taken at half the height of this object?" About four percent of human beings can reason about 3D space well enough to answer this question easily and confidently. For most of us, 3D problems lead to confusion or even panic. This course offers a series of exercises for thinking in 3D with the result being attendees ability to develop 3D-thinking skills independently.

"Shrek:" The Story Behind the Screen
Organizer: Linda Rae Sande, PDI/DreamWorks
This course offers both an overall and technical perspective on the PDI/DreamWorks computer-generated, feature-length movie-making process with a focus on some of the key areas in production of "Shrek": art direction, character development, simulation, effects, lighting, and digital storytelling.

The Technology and Practice of Digital Cinema (D-cinema)
Organizer: Charles Poynton
HDTV equipment using the 1920 x 1080 image format now achieves spatial resolution comparable to film. Efforts are nearly complete to adapt HDTV cameras and recorders to the 24 frames per second of film. And electronic projection now matches the brightness and spatial resolution of the cinema. This course describes the technology of D-cinema acquisition and display, and discusses the interface between D-cinema and digital-image creation and editing. Course location is the University of Southern Californiašs Digital Cinema Laboratory, in the Pacific Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Buses will transport attendees from LACC to the course and back.

Using Tensor Diagrams to Represent and Solve Geometric Problems
Organizer: James F. Blinn, Microsoft Research
Conventional matrix notation for algebraic geometry does not adequately represent some concepts that are important in understanding and manipulating geometrical quantities. Better notational tools can be appropriated from the field of mathematical physics. This course focuses on one such tool, the tensor diagram and shows how it can improve notational convenience, solve many geometrical problems and that would otherwise be very complicated, and facilitate understanding of the algebraic structure of such problems.

Visualizing Relativity
Organizers: Andrew Hanson, Indiana University and Daniel Weiskopf, Universität Stuttgart
The course is for those who seek a deeper intuitive understanding of the theories of relativity and an introduction to how modern computer graphics techniques can be adapted to visualize and simulate the physics of interacting light and matter under extreme conditions. The first half of this course focuses on how relativistic effects can be intuitively understood starting from Euclidean 3D geometry. The second half concentrates on recent advances in photorealistic simulation of scenes and relativistic phenomena using computer graphics to show features that could never be seen in real life at human time and space scales.

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