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Educators Summit: Making Graphics Programmers

Dave Shreiner  (Senior Manager, Graphics Engineering, Unity Technologies)

Location: Room 2014, West Hall

Date: Tuesday, March 21

Time: 4:40 pm - 5:10 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Summits Pass

Topic: Educators

Format: Lecture

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Computer graphics is arguably the most noticeable element of games, and often the first aspiration of burgeoning game developers. However, presenting the fundamental concepts required for success as a graphics programmer is a challenging and changing field—for both students and educators.

Modern graphics curricula that start from first principles need to cover a vast number of topics: linear algebra, geometry, vertices, pixels, shading and shaders, and graphics APIs. Of course, one might teach using a package or game engine, but that might diffuse the knowledge of the underlying concepts, which form the foundation for advancing the art.

So, how do educators transform an enthusiastic, but likely under-prepared student into a graphics-capable programmer in one semester?

In this session, Dave Shreiner, Senior Manager, Graphics Engineering at Unity Technologies will share how to focus on the foundation–the graphics pipeline–and build from there. Such an approach needs to focus on the fundamentals, introduce topics that may be relevant in modern games, and, somewhere along the way, get the rendering pixels.


Attendees will gain insight into the essential curriculum for computer graphics students, how to present graphics concepts to keep students engaged and excited, and core topics that students-turned-job-seekers will need to be familiar with, presented by someone who wants to hire your students.

Intended Audience

This is for educators needing to present or develop an undergraduate class on computer graphics. Only basic familiarity with graphics concepts is necessary. The intent is to enumerate the topics composing a modern graphics course; not teach such a course.