CS 6967 - Fall 2016
Special Topics in Numerical Simulation

Instructor:Cem Yuksel (Office hours: by appointment, MEB 3116)
Time:Tuesday & Thursday @ 2:00pm - 3:20pm
Location:Large Conference Room, a.k.a. LCR (MEB 3147)


This course is designed both for students who have no experience on numerical simulation and for students who already have extensive knowledge and experience on this topic. No strong physics background is required either. This is designed as a course that can be taken multiple times.

This is a primarily project-based course in which each student chooses an individual project topic and works on that project till the end of the semester. The course begins with an introduction to numerical simulation and lectures on different physically-based simulation methods in computer graphics. Students first implement a simple cloth simulation, and then each student chooses an individual project topic and proposes an implementation plan. Afterwards, each student presents a paper that is closely related to the chosen project topic followed by progress reports on their individual project throughout the semester. A significant portion of the course runs as a seminar. Therefore, all students are expected to attend the class regularly, carefully read the assigned readings in the beginning part of the course, and actively participate in classroom discussions.

Students taking this course will gain hands-on experience with their individual projects and will also familiarize themselves with other topics through the presentations of their classmates and classroom discussions, in addition to lectures. Experienced students with a prior expertise in a particular area are permitted choose a project topic in that area to further their knowledge and improve upon their prior projects, which would also benefit everyone through discussions in class.

Click here to go to the Canvas page for the course.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to equip students with a number of essential skills that they will need for a successful graduate study and a successfull career afterwards. At the conclusion of this course students will be able to:
  • Get familiar with various simulation methods in computer graphics,
  • Gain experience in implementing graphics simulation methods,
  • Obtain sufficient knowledge to pursue further research in a chosen topic, and
  • Improve presentation skills, which are critical for a successful career in the academia or the industry.

Schedule (subject to change)

1Aug 23Introduction to Numerical Simulation
Aug 25Mass-Spring Systems
2Aug 30Implicit IntegrationSimulation Project Part 1 Deadline
Sep 1Solving Sparse MatricesReading: [Baraff & Witkin 1998]
3Sep 6Constrained Optimization
& Cloth Simulation
Simulation Project Part 2 Deadline
Reading: [Shewchuk 94]
Sep 8Cloth Simulation
4Sep 13Simulation Project Discussions
& Introduction to Fluid Dynamics
Simulation Project Deadline
Reading: [Foster & Metaxas 96]
Sep 15Incompressible FluidsReading: [Stam 99]
5Sep 20Project Proposal ReviewsProject Proposal Deadline
Sep 22Project Proposal Reviews
6Sep 27Paper Presentation 1Kui Wu, Magdalena Schwarzl
Sep 29Paper Presentation 1Elena Vasiou Sivvopoulou, Aniketh Venkat
7Oct 4Paper Presentation 1Ian Mallett, Vikram Raj
Oct 6Paper Presentation 1Ankur Rathore, Hannah Swan
8Oct 11— Fall Blreak —
Oct 13— Fall Blreak —
9Oct 18Progress Report 1Vikram Raj, Ankur Rathore, Hannah Swan
Oct 20Progress Report 1Aniketh Venkat, Ian Mallett
10Oct 25Progress Report 1Elena Vasiou Sivvopoulou, Magdalena Schwarzl
Oct 27— No Class —
11Nov 1Progress Report 1/2Kui Wu, Ankur Rathore, Hannah Swan
Nov 3Progress Report 2Ian Mallett, Vikram Raj, Elena Vasiou Sivvopoulou
12Nov 8Progress Report 2Kui Wu, Magdalena Schwarzl
Nov 10Progress Report 2/3Aniketh Venkat, Hannah Swan
13Nov 15Progress Report 3Ian Mallett, Vikram Raj
Nov 17Progress Report 3Ankur Rathore, Elena Vasiou Sivvopoulou
14Nov 22Progress Report 3Aniketh Venkat, Kui Wu, Magdalena Schwarzl
Nov 24— Thanksgiving —
15Nov 29— No Class —
Dec 1— No Class —(LCR is occupied for another event)
16Dec 6— No Class —
Dec 8Final Project Presentations

Individual Projects

Each student will pick a project topic that is related to numerical simulation and propose a project plan. The topics and plans will be adjusted and approved by the instructor. A typical project topic for this class is implementing a relatively recent graphics paper. Interactive/real-time techniques are acceptable as well as slow/offline methods. The final project code can run on CPUs as well as GPUs or other devices, if desired.

Deadlines and Late Submissions: Each student will be assigned a group. Projects and progress reports must be submitted before the deadline of their group. A late penalty of 5% per day will be asserted for any late submission.

Collaboration between students is encouraged. If any external libraries and source code are used, they must be clearly indicated in all project documentation and presentations. Students cannot claim credit for any code that they have not written personally. Turning in projects that include unreferenced code from other sources is considered cheating and warrants a failing grade for this class. See the School of Computing Academic Miscondact policy.


Simulation Project20 points
Project Proposal10 points
Paper Presentation10 points
Progress Report 110 points
Progress Report 210 points
Progress Report 310 points
Final Presentation20 points
Class Participation10 points
TOTAL100 points

University of Utah Disability Accommodation Policy

The University of Utah seeks to provide equal access to its programs, services, and activities for people with disabilities. If you need accommodations in the class, reasonable prior notice should be given to the Center for Disability Services, 162 Olpin Union Building, 801-581-5020 (V/TDD), http://disability.utah.edu/. CDS will work with you and the instructor to make arrangements for accommodations.


BARAFF, D. and WITKIN, A. 1998. Large Steps in Cloth Simulation. Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH '98, 43-54.

FOSTER N., and METAXAS D. 1996. Realistic Animation of Liquids. Graphical Models and Image Processing 58, 5, 471-483.

STAM J. 1999. Stable fluids. In Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH '99, 121-128

SHEWCHUK J. R. 1994. An Introduction to the Conjugate Gradient Method Without the Agonizing Pain. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

PRESS, W. H., TEUKOLSKY, S. A., VETTERLING, W. T., and FLANNERY, B. P. 1992. Numerical recipes in C (2nd ed.): the art of scientific computing. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY.