CS 415: Game Development

Associate Professor Eric Shaffer

A team and project-based course on the technical aspects of video game development and game engine internals: geometric modeling, game physics and AI, shader programming, real-time physically based rendering, and software engineering practices within the game industry. The central focus of the course is the development of a game by teams of 3 to 5 students. The course strongly emphasizes code development using a modern game engine. Students will gain skills necessary to develop games and to develop game engines. 

Students taking the course for 4 credits will complete the following additional work:

  • Watch a set of pre-recorded lectures on Virtual Reality
  • Complete 1 additional homework assignment on PrairieLearn
  • Complete 1 additional programming assignment focused on Virtual or Augmented Reality

The additional programming assignment is typically a VR game, but you can propose your own project instead. Any proposal will need to be reviewed by the course staff and you will be notified if it is acceptable. Full details of the procedure will be available on the Assignments page when the assignment is released.

JOUR 460: Communicating Science with Augmented Reality

Assistant Professor Christopher Ball

This course provides an overview of augmented reality (AR) technology, what makes it important, how it has been used in science communication, and the social-psychological/educational impacts of AR. Students will gain hands-on experience with science-related AR, conceptualize their own AR science experiences, learn how to find/use/create 3D models for science communication, and create an AR science experience using AR software. No prior AR design experience is required. Non-Degree seeking students may enroll on a space-available basis with consent of the department.

ECE 398: Fields and Waves VR Lab

Associate Professor Raluca Ilie

This course is designed to be taken concurrently with ECE 329 “Fields and waves I”, to strengthen the students’ understanding of the concepts in electromagnetism and their applications, through a combination of customized Virtual Reality (VR) experiences and computer simulations using Mathematica. Topics include static and quasi-static electric fields, polarization, static and quasi-static magnetic fields, dynamic fields and Maxwell’s equations, wave solutions of Maxwell’s equations in free space and homogeneous media, time- and frequency-domain analysis of waves in transmission line circuits, and Smith Chart analysis. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in ECE 329.

RST 216: Technology in Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Associate Professor Michael Raycraft

An 8-week online class that will assist students in understanding technological advances in recreation, sport and tourism behavior and management through virtual reality (VR) demonstrations and class debates; discussing technology adoption rates in eastern and western cultures and contexts by examining global trends in technology innovations; and critiquing technology’s impacts on personal lives, experiences, and worldviews.


JOUR 430: Augmented and Virtual Reality

Assistant Professor Christopher Ball

Examines the importance and application of immersive technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. Students will learn about the history of these technologies, research regarding their effectiveness, and how to apply them to solve real-world problems and convey non-fiction narrative experiences. Students will also receive an introduction to designing content for these technologies (a formal design background is NOT required). This course will be tailored to students interested in the application of these emerging technologies in fields such as journalism, advertising, and media studies. 

GSD 390: Human Animation in VR

Associate Professor John Toenjes

Creation and implementation of human animation in virtual reality through use of various motion capture technologies. Rigging skeletons and mapping animations onto avatars in Unreal Engine to create a database of publicly available animations, culminating in a VR application created by students in the class.

Dr. Steve Lavelle’s CS Virtual Reality lecture series

Steve wrote the book on VR… literally!
Covers VR from a comprehensive perspective (from hardware to software to human anatomy/psychology)

Plus, his free VR book that “covers the fundamentals of virtual reality systems”