Computer graphics


Contact person: William Cowan,

Group members:



The Computer Graphics Laboratory (CGL) is a group that stresses interdisciplinary research. Students and faculty from different research areas work together in collaborations that explicitly acknowledge the eclectic nature of computer graphics and user interface research. One result of this mixing of disciplines has been the proficiency at seizing research opportunities as they are created by advances in technology, by the changing needs of users of graphics, and by disciplines newly affected by interactive computer graphics.

Research interests

Most research within CGL falls into the following interconnected research activities:

  • High quality colour imagery: representation of colour images and material reflectance; algorithms for image synthesis, analysis, and manipulation. Reflective material specification and device independent colour; empirical investigations of human perception; and advanced physically-based image synthesis using full-spectrum reflectance, absorption, and refraction.
  • Creation of art and ornament: uses of computer graphics in art; mathematical models of ornament; algorithms that add ornament to photorealistic and non-photorealistic computer graphics; computer-aided design and manufacturing methods for instantiating computer-generated ornament and art using a variety of manufacturing technologies.
  • Computer support of design practices: exploring new tools and methods that enable community-based design and testing of user interfaces in the open source community.
  • Perceptive user interfaces in pen based computing: sketch recognition and the application of pattern recognition to users' actions.
  • Modeling curves and surfaces based on piecewise-polynomial functions or splines, including algorithmic and computational properties of general spline representations of arbitrary degree, variable patch geometry, data structures and algorithmic techniques for hierarchical surface design, and new methods for interacting with splines.