University of Minnesota
5619: Virtual Reality and 3D Interaction

Fall 2017

Meeting time and place:
      Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:15am-12:30pm, Keller Hall 3-125.


   Dr. Victoria Interrante
   office hours: Tues/Thurs 12:30-1:00pm, and by appointment
   Keller Hall 6-185; (612) 625-3543
   email: interran{at}


   Dan Orban
   office hours: Tuesdays 9:30-11:15am, and by appointment
   Keller Hall 1-254 Lab; (612) 626-7508
   email: dtorban{at}

Moodle web page:

Course overview:
Through a combination of lectures, class discussion, hands-on demos, in-depth topic presentations, and diverse readings from the current literature, students will be exposed to a wide range of interesting and exciting cross-disciplinary research in the broadly-defined fields of virtual and augmented reality, 3D user interaction and spatial user interfaces. Students will have the opportunity to conduct a semester-long term project, working hands-on with leading edge virtual reality hardware such as the Oculus Rift if desired.

Course activities:
      Each week, students will be responsible for reading approximately 2-4 papers from the current and historical literature in the field of virtual reality and submitting a brief (half page) written report about each, as well as participating in class discussion.
      In addition, each student will be responsible for choosing a topic, in consultation with the professor, on which they will perform an in-depth literature review. Each student will also be responsible for preparing a 20-minute presentation on their chosen topic, or a related one, for the rest of the class. (If multiple students elect to research the same general topic, we will need to coordinate other to avoid overlap in the presentations.)
      Most importantly, each student will be responsible for implementing a self-defined term project, making use of available virtual reality equipment as appropriate. Students are encouraged to work in teams of 2-3 on this project, in order to be able to achieve something more extraordinary than what would be possible to accomplish by working alone. Each student will receive an independent grade on the final project regardless of the team size. The term project is expected to be a semester-long effort, involving a minimum of 45-60 hours of work per team member.

Students must be self-motivated, and willing to put in at least 4-6 hours/week of effort on project development, outside of class, on a regular basis. Familiarity with graphics programming is a plus but is not required.

Augmented Reality: Principles and Practice, 2017. Dieter Schmalsteig and Tobias Höllerer. [companion website].
Additional readings will be drawn from a variety of sources including books, journals, technical reports and conference proceedings, and will be made available via links on the website.

            Class Participation and Reading Reports .............12%
            Topic Presentation ............................................... 15%
            Literature Review ................................................. 15%
            Hands-on Exercises ............................................. 8%
            Final Project ......................................................... 50%

There will be no midterm or final exam in this class.

Coursework Policies:
Regular class attendance is expected in this course. Attendance will be taken and class participation will count towards the final grade.

Reading reports will be graded on a three point scale. For full credit the report should contain thoughtful content that demonstrates a nuanced understanding of the material.

Reading reports must be submitted via Moodle before the start of the class period during which the readings will be discussed. Late reports will earn half credit, and must be received prior to the beginning of the subsequent class period.

On occasion, students may be required to write a brief 2-5 minute essay at a random point during selected class periods, to serve as a record of their engagement with the class discussion and/or the topic material. Such essays will be collected at the end of class and will count towards the participation grade.

The term project may either be done individually or in collaboration with 1-2 other students. The scope expected of collaborative projects will be proportional to the size of the team.

Academic Honesty:
All of the work submitted for credit in this class must either be the product of the original effort of the submitter, or clearly attributed to its original creator. Any code that is obtained from others must be clearly commented to acknowledge the source, and the provenance of any such borrowed or open-source code must also be clearly documented in both the written project summary and the oral project presentation. All written prose included in the reading report forms, literature review, and final project report must be the submitter's own original expression. All sources used must be clearly referenced. This includes the sources of all images and videos shown in topic presentations. Image and video credits should be given on the same slide as the image or video appears.

Copying code or prose from others, either from fellow students or off the internet, or from any other source, and misrepresenting it as one's own, is considered plagiarism and is subject to serious penalties. Per CS departmental policy, any form of academic dishonesty by graduate students is grounds for permanent termination of all forms of financial support, including teaching and research assistantships, and may be grounds for expulsion from the program. Further information about the CS Department's policy on Academic Conduct can be found here.

More information about the University's expectations regarding student conduct and academic integrity is available at oscai.umn .edu. The complete text of the University Policy on student learning and student responsibilities can be found through this link.

Grading Policy:
This course will follow the University's Uniform Grading and Transcription Policies, and the University's policy on the amount of academic work expected per credit.

The amount and quality of work required for a grade of S will not be less than the amount and quality of work required for a C-. You are urged to check your registration for accuracy of course and section numbers and grading options.

B>Incompletes and Withdrawals:
A grade of I can be assigned only under extraordinary circumstances: to be elegible, a student must have kept up with all of the required coursework to date and must have been prevented by an unforseeable emergency from completing the remainder of the coursework on time.

Students should be aware that there is a time limit on when they may request that a grade in a course be changed to a W (withdrawal). A student may petition a college scholastic committee or other appropriate body concerning any of the provisions of the grading policy but may not initiate an appeal of the grade earned in a course more than one calendar year after the grade was assigned--and changing a grade to a W is subject to the one-year limitation on appeal as well. Students are not permitted to withdraw from a class to avoid a grade of F resulting from an incidence of academic dishonesty.

Disabiliy Accommodation:
The University of Minnesota is committed to providing equitable access to learning opportunities for all students. Disability Services (DS) is the campus office that collaborates with students who have disabilities to provide and/or arrange reasonable accommodations.

If you have, or think you may have, a disability (e.g., mental health, attentional, learning, chronic health, sensory, or physical), please contact DS at 612-626-1333 to arrange a confidential discussion regarding equitable access and reasonable accommodations.

If you are registered with DS and have a current letter requesting reasonable accommodations, please contact me early in the semester to review how the accommodations will be applied.

Mental Health:
As a student you may experience a range of issues that can cause barriers to learning, such as strained relationships, increased anxiety, alcohol/drug problems, video game addiction, feeling down, difficulty concentrating, and/or lack of motivation. These mental health concerns or stressful events may lead to diminished academic performance or reduce your ability to participate in daily activities. University of Minnesota services are available to assist you with addressing these and other concerns you may be experiencing. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential mental health services available on campus via