CS 528: Virtual Reality - Spring 2020

Andy Johnson

Electronic Visualization Laboratory
2032 Engineering Research Facility (ERF)

(312) 996-3002

Lecture: 36788 T/Th 2 pm - 3:15 pm 2036 ERF or 2068 ERF
Office Hours: 4:45 pm - 6 pm T / Th and by appointment


There is no official textbook but there will be a number of assigned paper readings and two optional textbooks

Understanding VR cover
Understanding Virtual Reality: Interface, Application, and Design, 2nd Edition

William Sherman and Alan Craig

Morgan Kaufmann

ISBN-13: 978-0128009659
ISBN-10: 012800965

VR Developer Gems

CRC Press

William Sherman

ISBN-13: 978-1138030121
ISBN-10: 1138030120

all of the class material is available at https://www.evl.uic.edu/aej/528/


(this is the first time this course will be taught since the 428 VR/AR/MR course was created, and much of the older material from this course moved into that course, so the new iteration of this course will be focusing more on current work)

(the relative amount of time given to the different presentations may change depending on the number of students in the class)

1/14 & 1/16

Intro to the Course, Demos, Tools
1/21 & 1/23
P1 out
Overview of VR and AR
1/28 & 1/30

Overview continued
2/4 & 2/6

🎤Classic Paper Discussions
2/11 & 2/13

work on Project 1 in CAVE2 / VIVE
2/18 & 2/20
P1 due
🎤Project 1 Presentations
2/25 & 2/27
P2 proposal due 🎤Classic Paper Discussions
3/3 & 3/5

🎤Classic Paper Discussions
3/10 & 3/12

🎤Classic Paper Discussions
🌴 3/17 & 3/19
🌴 Spring Break 🌴 🌴 Spring Break 🌴
🌴 3/24 & 3/26
🌴 Spring Break 🌴 🌴 Spring Break 🌴
3/31 & 4/2
paper choice due 🎤Classic Paper Discussions
4/7 & 4/9

🎤Recent Paper Presentations
4/14 & 4/16

🎤Recent Paper Presentations
4/21 & 4/23

🎤Recent Paper Presentations
4/28 & 4/30
P2 due 🎤Project 2 Presentations

"so much time, so little to see ... wait a minute, strike that, reverse it" -- Willy Wonka


You should have a solid grasp of programming in a language like C / C++ / Java  / Python, basic data structures, experience writing code in groups, testing, version control, and patterns.

Standard departmental disclaimer: If you do not have the prerequisites for this course make sure that you drop this course right away. The department will verify the prerequisites for all students registered in this course during the first few weeks of the term and if you do not have the prerequisites, you will be notified and dropped from the course after the normal drop/add period. By that time, you will not be able to enroll in any new course.


This course will focus on learning about current research in virtual reality and augmented reality hardware and software, and create interactive environments and user interfaces that make effective use of them.


Attendance is very important, but not mandatory. Part of your grade will be based on your in-class participation (i.e. asking good questions, making good comments) so please take that into account.

I will occasionally send out emails to the class using your UIC email address so please make sure that you are checking for email from that account every day or two. 

UIC Wi-Fi should work in the classroom.

I will be putting all of my notes on the web, however these notes should not be considered official until the day of class. If I make any major changes to a page afterwards, then I will announce it in class, but note that at the bottom of each page is a modification date so you should be able to tell when the notes were last modified. I try to ensure that the notes on the web accurately reflect the lecture, but its what is discussed in class that counts, not what's written in the notes.

"Those who are absent are always wrong." - African proverb


The best way to learn about VR and AR is to make VR and AR applications. There will be two projects, a presentation on a recent paper about VR or AR, and points for class participation.

Individual grades on the projects will be based on the quality of the work turned in and on the reviews that each student receives from his/her team members.

You will be making a short presentation about each of your projects to the class. If the project is not done then you can't present it, so late assignments lose 50% per day - if something is turned in within 24 hours after the deadline then the max score is 50 points out of 100; after that its a 0. Assignment deadlines will not be extended for any reason other than a headline in the Tribune or Sun Times describing an army of undead ghouls walking the streets of Chicago eating people. In order to get an A a student must get a passing grade on all the projects.

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand" - Chinese proverb


The University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to maintaining a barrier-free environment so that individuals with disabilities can fully access programs, courses, services, and activities at UIC. Students with disabilities who require accommodations for full access and participation in UIC Programs must be registered with the Disability Resource Center (312) 413-2183 (voice) or (312) 413- 0123 (TDD).

The University Holidays and Religious Observances calendar can be found online at http://oae.uic.edu/religious-calendar/

You (and your group) are expected to do all your own design and implementation work. Cheating is bad; if you are caught cheating at minimum the punishment will be that you will get a failing grade for the entire course.


The current grade sheet will be found on these web pages. 

The final grade will be Letter grades will be calculated as follows:

Project 1:                  200 points          A: 880 - 1000 points
Project 2: 300 points B: 770 - 879 points
Class Participation 300 points C: 660 - 769 points
Paper Presentations: 200 points D: 550 - 659 points
F: 000 - 549 points
Total: 1000 points

latest revision 3/11/2020 - updated week 14 and P2 due date

3/4/2020 - added date for paper choice