Geometric Modeling


Time: Tuesdays 11:15 - 12:30, Thursdays 11:15 - 12:30
Location: CS Building 140
Instuctor: Evangelos Kalogerakis (
Office hours: Tuesdays 12:30-2, Thursdays 12:30-2; at other times, drop in or make an appointment (office CS250)
Lecture notes, programming resources, and assignments are posted on the UMass Moodle web site.

Note: the course is replaced by 590GC/690GC - 3D Modeling and Simulation

Course Description

Geometric modeling is fundamental to create content for virtual worlds, computer games, computer-animated films, computer-aided design, architecture, multimedia and other related fields. This course will teach students the basics of 3D geometric modeling. It will start by covering the most commonly used digital representations of shapes, such as polygon meshes, point clouds, NURBS surfaces, and subdivision surfaces. The course will cover the basics of surface parametrization, texturing, de-noising, reconstruction, re-meshing, simplification, shape segmentation, classification and retrieval. The course will proceed with an overview of techniques for shape deformations and interactive shape modeling. There will be particular focus on techniques for sketch-based modeling, data-driven modeling, digital sculting, and procedural modeling.

This course counts as a CS Elective toward the CMPSCI major (BA/BS). 3 credits. It also belongs to the computer graphics, vision, robotics track.

Week-by-week outline (tentative)

Week 1: Introduction to Geometric Modeling, Digital shape representations: polygon meshes, point clouds
Week 2: Digital shape representations: mesh data structures, implicit surfaces
Week 3: Digital shape representations: Parametric representations of curves and surfaces
Week 4: Subdivision curves and surfaces, surface scanning methods
Week 5: Surface Reconstruction
Week 6: Differential Geometry, surface denoising, re-meshing
Week 7: Surface parametrization and texturing
Week 8: Geometric and physics-based shape deformations
Week 9: Shape descriptors
Week 10: Procedural modeling, sketch-based modeling, digital sculpting
Week 11: Data-driven modeling, statistical models of shape
Week 12: Special topics in shape classification and deformation models (paper presentations)
Week 13: Special topics in interactive modeling techniques (paper presentations)
Week 14: Special topics in NL interfaces for modeling (paper presentations)


  • Complete five programming assignments that involve implementation of geometry processing and modeling techniques.
  • Research paper presentation
  • Read all readings for each session before the class meetings.
  • Class participation and discussions.

    Marking scheme

    Assignment 1: assemly-based modeling interface - 20%
    Assignment 2: surface reconstruction - 15%
    Assignment 3: differential geometry - 20%
    Assignment 4: shape/part retrieval and matching - 15%
    Assignment 5: surface smoothing and feature-preserving reconstruction - 20%
    Class presentation and participation - 10 %

    Late policy: -10% of the final mark for every day you delay the submission.

    This course counts as a CS Elective toward the CMPSCI major (BA/BS). 3 credits. It also belongs to the computer graphics, vision, robotics track.

    MSc/PhD students have the option to work on a research project instead of the last 3 assignments. In this case, the marking scheme is the following: project determines 55% of the grade, Assignment 1 worths 20%, Assignment 2 worths 15%, and paper presentation worths 10%. The research project must be related to the course and should result in reasonably good results. It should be first discussed and approved by the instructor during the first 6 weeks of the course. Projects can be done in groups (maximum 2 people).


    Prerequisites for undergraduate students: CMPSCI 240 (Reasoning under uncertainty) and CMPSCI 311 (Theory of Algorithms).
    There are no prerequisites for CMPSCI graduate students, although familiarity with computer graphics is useful (as covered in CMPSCI 473).
    Permission of instructor for non-CMPSCI graduate students.

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