Hi Rick -- Congrats, this sounds like a great undertaking.
I have somewhat similar plans you might be interested in. My intent is to
set up an internship program with CU Boulder and take in two interns
starting in January. While I will expect real work out of them (to be open
sourced, either as an OSG contribution or a standalone project), I also
intend to teach them 3D graphics. Like you, I'll focus on using the
higher-level API, and only teach the low-level stuff as a means to
understanding the end.
Like you, I'm also afraid that this will be like drinking from a fire hose
-- way too much material for a semester-long internship. Hopefully, if the
interns do well through the January-April semester, I can convince them to
stay on over the summer and really put to use what they've learned for solid
code production.
Between the curriculum Bob Kuehne and I have developed for out OSG courses,
and the material I intend to create for this internship program, I hope to
finally have enough material to create the long-awaited OSG Programming
Guide book.
On the subject of final projects suitable for a semester course...
 * A set of replacements for the ShapeDrawables that use Geometry as their
base class. The benefit would be that code could easily access and modify
the vertices, they could be exported to FLT, etc.
 * A new polygon decimator that can remove boundary vertices (a limitation
of the existing osgUtil::Simplifier).
 * I've always thought it would be useful to write an export osgPlugin that
dumps out an HTML document per node, with the document displaying info about
that node and containing links to parent/children/siblings. This would be a
great analysis tool for any OSG developer.
 * Finally, there are always several new OpenGL extensions that could be
implemented in OSG... How about a Drawable that supports ARB_draw_instanced,
for example?
Let's keep in touch as our two programs progress.
Paul Martz
Skew Matrix Software LLC
http://www.skew-matrix.com <http://www.skew-matrix.com/> 
+1 303 859 9466


[mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 12:26 PM
To: osg-users@lists.openscenegraph.org
Subject: [osg-users] Teaching an intro to graphics course

Hello All,

I am going to be teaching my first semester as a part-time adjunct professor
at BYU-Idaho.  I am really EXCITED!  We will be teaching an intro. to
graphics course that has not been taught before at this school.  Our focus
will be on juniors and seniors wanting to get out in the industry and do

Our thought is to take a direction slightly different from the traditional
graphics course that works students through writing their own low level
graphics operations through writing their own phong shader and rudimentary
ray-tracer.  We know we need to teach the fundamentals with vector and
matrix math, etc. (a linear algebra class is already set as a
pre-requisite), but our thought was that we could focus on OpenGL and teach
how these concepts are important even while working on this relatively high
level API.

Once we have the fundamentals down and an idea of how OpenGL works, I wanted
to introduce the students to OSG and how a scene graph helps.  Another big
goal is to teach them how to participate in an Open Source community.
Ultimately I would like to have the students work on final projects that
they might be able to submit to the cause.  There are SOOO many great things
they could learn from this effort.  I hope we are not trying to shove too
much into a 3 credit hour class, but I am excited to see how it goes.

So, we have a few ideas about the things I think we should cover, but I
would love to get some feedback from this great community about things that
you would teach in this kind of course.  I know I want to introduce them to
the coding standards and the submission guidelines you have on the website.
Are there other things we should consider on that front?  (should we
pre-screen the submissions before we send them off to you?).  What kinds of
projects would you recommend the students might be able to work on?  The LWO
and LWS readers are near and dear to my heart, so I was going to have them
work on features there, but I am certainly open to suggestions.

-- Rick

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