A Survey of the Contents in Introductory Computer Graphics Courses

Dennis G. Balreira, Marcelo Walter, Dieter W. Fellner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computer Graphics is a very active field, with new knowledge being published every day at a high rate. There is, therefore, the pressure to regularly review our teaching contents and adjust accordingly. Among the courses on a standard curriculum, the introductory Computer Graphics course is very often the door for students into the exciting area of Computer Graphics. It is also the opportunity to attract and engage the best talent for the field. In this paper, we address the question of content in the introductory Com- puter Graphics course as a community. Our main motivation was to find out what our peers are teaching in this first course and use this knowledge to ease the redesign of our introductory course. We have surveyed 28 introductory Computer Graphics undergraduate courses from higher level educational insti- tutions from around the world. We have asked the instructors of these courses to send us data on their courses, such as the weekly list of topics, and others such as textbooks. We gathered and processed this data using a bottom-up approach. The final top-level list of subjects and percentages for the introductory Computer Graphics courses, following the knowledge units defined in the 2013 ACM/IEEE recommenda- tion, is as follows: Rendering (71.3%), Geometric Modeling (17.4%), Animation (7.8%), Fundamentals (3.0%), and Visualization (0.5%). We believe this survey will be helpful for institutions considering designing a new introductory course from scratch or redesigning an existing one, by providing the current state-of- practice of top Computer Graphics institutions around the world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-96
JournalComputers & Graphics
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Education
  • Computer graphics
  • Research Area: Computer graphics (CG)

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

Cite this