Each semester, CS 225 offers a one credit hour honors section that covers an advanced topic in CS related to data structures (offered as CS 296, Section 25). This is the honors component to receive James Scholar or HCLA credit for CS 225. However, it is not necessary to be part of an honors program to participate in CS 296 – anyone can join!

As an honors course, CS 296 will be much less structured than CS 225, require significant independent work and learning, and we expect you to go above and beyond what you would normally do as part of a regular course. Students in the past have learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and created amazing projects.

Topic Overview

This semester, CS 296 will focus on geometric data structures for computer graphics. Generation of photo-realistic images is often accomplished using techniques based on ray-tracing. These methods simulate the physical transport of light and so are often referred to as physically based rendering. Historically, such methods have mostly only been used in a cinematic setting. However, advances in in computing now enable at least limited use in some real-time application such as game engines.

This semester, we will look at how spatial data structures are used to accelerate the ray-tracing techniques. You will get a chance to learn a little bit about a lot of things…physics, geometric data structures, rendering technique…and you’ll get to write your own ray-tracer using C++.

Course Meeting Times and Registration

CS 296 meets every Thursday, starting February 8, 17:00 in 1404 Siebel Center.
The meetings will be captured on video and available at http://echo360.org


We expect that you will be taking CS 225 at the same time, but that is not strictly necessary. If you are not enrolled in CS 225, you must have credit for CS 225.

If the honors section fills up, priority will be given to current CS 225 students.

Registering for CS 296

Since CS 296’s first meeting is not until several weeks into the semester, you may not have registered for it during normal registration. We are more than happy to approve any late-adds for you to add the course up until the first meeting.

You can “Late Add” by: