Computer graphics and virtual reality

Real time computer graphics is one of the most challenging and impressive of computing disciplines. With the possible future prevalence of virtual or augmented reality platforms, it could also be one of the most important.

Our course is an introductory look at fundamental concepts in real time rendering, starting from the math and physics of illumination and ending with interactive virtual reality applications.

In order to cover as much ground as possible for students new to the field, we use JavaScript, three.js and A-frame to build substantive programs quickly. We try to do this without compromising on theory, so we feel that this provides a solid starting point from which to progress to bare metal applications in C/C++ or game engines like Unity or Unreal.

Topics covered

  • The graphics pipeline
  • Linear algebra refresher
  • Modeling: points, vectors and meshes
  • The physics of light
  • Colors and lighting models: Gourard, Phong and beyond
  • Using matrices for transforms
  • Textures
  • Programmable shaders
  • The virtual reality experience, opportunities and limitations


This course presumes some familiarity with linear algebra, and competence with JavaScript.

Schedule and fees

This course is next scheduled to run in April 2017. Apply now to be considered; exact dates and times will be finalized based on participant availability. Classes will be approximately nine hours per week for three weeks, for a total price of $1,800

San Francisco, California
© 2016 Bradfield School of Computer Science