Algorithms for Computer Animation >> Content Detail




This graduate course introduces students to open problems in computer animation, teaches essential techniques for solving these problems, and enables students to explore these and other techniques in a semester-long research project.


Programming experience and mathematical sophistication are essential for this course. Successful completion of an introductory computer graphics course such as 6.837 is required. A student who does not have the prerequisites should obtain the permission of the instructor.


One reading assignment each week and a semester-long research project. The project will require three written reports: extended abstract of proposed work, a short progress report, and a final conference-style report.


20% Reading assignments and participation
20% Extended abstract
30% Progress report
30% Final report

The grades for the research project and corresponding written reports will depend on clarity of reports, technical contributions, and creativity of ideas


All students must complete reading assignments on their own.

A research project is to be tackled by a team of two students. Permission to work individually may be granted, but only in special circumstances. A team can collaborate extensively to ensure a timely project completion.

The following excerpts from "The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing" describe the guidelines for appropriate academic conduct

Legal and Ethical Issues

Research in science and engineering, as in most professions, sometimes poses unexpected legal and ethical problems. These problems will often become apparent at the writing stage of a project. When written claims are made, the concreteness and technical quality of many statements can mask limitations and inconsistencies, thus posing potential legal and ethical problems. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • The expert uses his or her specialized knowledge to solve a problem. Hence, the expert assumes an authority and uses a language that the lay person is usually not able to judge. Some sources of liability include a failure to point out alternatives, failure to note negative secondary effects, failure to give the whole picture, failure to acknowledge gaps in logic, and failure to cite or credit sources.
  • Be aware of potential sources of plagiarism. Be sure you understand what plagiarism is. It is the copying, whether deliberate or unintentional, of ideas or portions of text without citing the sources for credit. It is also the use of other people's ideas without attributing them to the proper source. Although plagiarism is often unintentional, it still demonstrates incompetence. If you fail to record your sources and then later forget that you used a source, you are still liable and open to the charge of theft of intellectual property
Citing Sources and Listing References

Whenever you include another person's information or wording in a document, you must acknowledge the source and include a citation that will tell the reader where you obtained it. If you do not do so, you deprive your reader of the ability to locate information that he or she might want to explore further. In addition, you may be committing intellectual theft, plagiarism.

Mechanisms that allow a reader to verify the information presented in a document are essential parts of most types of technical and scientific writing. Procedures sections of technical and laboratory reports, for example, provide the reader with information sufficient to replicate both the method and the data described in the document.

There are two basic and universal rules regarding the use of information in professional and, especially, academic writing:

  • If you use the language of your source, you must quote it exactly, enclose it in quotation marks, and cite the source.
  • If you use ideas or information that are not common knowledge, you must cite the source.



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