Research group’s website:

Group’s contact person: Stephen Mann

Group members


Computer graphics is an inherently interdisciplinary research field that integrates diverse aspects of art, mathematics, science, and computation to address fundamental challenges involving the manipulation and synthesis of visual content and interactive experiences. Among its many application domains are computer-aided design and engineering, entertainment, education and training, scientific visualization, medical imaging, and fine arts.

Students and faculty in the Computer Graphics Laboratory (CGL) at Waterloo pursue collaborative research on a variety of topics, including image synthesis, geometric modelling, art and design, computer animation, and more.

Research interests

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

  • Realistic image synthesis: light transport simulation for computer graphics such as ray tracing; numerical analysis for integral equations and image synthesis; computational statistics and Monte Carlo methods; appearance modelling; participating media and volumes; efficient computation for image synthesis.
  • 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.
  • Physics-based animation and simulation: cloth, hair, rigid bodies, deformables, liquids, smoke, and fire; computational fluid dynamics and solid mechanics; mesh generation and adaptation; numerical methods for differential equations and optimization; geometry processing; fluid-structure interaction.
  • Modelling curves and surfaces based on piecewise-polynomial functions or splines: 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.