COM1370, Computer Graphics

Winter 1998, Professor Futrelle

Course (Catalog) Description

Focuses on characteristics and programming of graphics output devices. Presents basics point and line drawing,two-dimensional displays, and clipping and windowing. Surveys pictures: data structures and display file organization; and interaction: graphical input and external events-operating system considerations. Includes some three-dimensional drawing. Prereq. COM 1201 and MTH 1301.

Description of this winter's course

The goal of this course is to teach computer graphics principles, concepts, and terminology, which apply to any programming language and platform. There will be three major programming projects. The first project is a graphics "sampler" that introduces you to creating windows and filling them with a variety of graphics patterns and animations. The second project involves creating 3D polyhedral objects that can rotate and translate in space and have subcomponents that behave independently. The third is an interactive sketch program.

C++ is the language for the course. Despite its shortcomings, it has close relations to C and is widely used. (Many professionals feel that Lisp, Smalltalk, and Java deal with object-oriented programming in more sophisticated ways than C++.) Linear Algebra 1 (MTH1301) is a serious prerequisite for this course, since it forms the mathematical foundations of all important graphical transformations and animation..

Check this website and your email frequently, to hear the latest ( Read all the COM1370 pages and reread any for which an update is indicated (below). If you do something wrong because you never read the pages, it's your problem -- but I'm sure you'll do fine :-)

Major updates of these pages:

1/7/98: Posted (based on earlier COM1370 web pages).

Northeastern University, College of Computer Science, Boston, MA.
Professor Robert P. Futrelle   Email me at:
Teaching assistant:
Xing Xiong. Room 53CN, phone 373-4607, email:
115/149 Cullinane
Hardcopy mailbox:
161 Cullinane
Class email:
You can also send mail to the ENTIRE COM1370 class.
Office 373-4239 (voice mail), Lab 373-2076, Home 244-8261
Course calendar

COM1370 course calendar

and you can access the official University Calendar


Platform and development system:
This course will use Macintoshes, room 229CN and 201CN, and develop C++ programs using MetroWerks Code Warrior Pro, an excellent C/C++ development system. See also, our College's Freshman C++ Curriculum page. You can also look at these Macintosh Programming Pages.
Hearn, Donald, and Pauline Baker. Computer Graphics, C Version Prentice Hall, 2nd edition, 1996.
Books on Reserve:
There are a number of books on Reserve in Snell Library, including hardcopies of Inside Macintosh, as well as other books about Mac Toolbox programming.
Personal Help:
If you need help at any time, find me in my office or lab, call, or send email, or ask in class to set up an appointment. My office/advising hours are Tuesdays, 9:30-11:30.
On-line help:
On-line help is available from many sources. All the Code Warrior manuals are on-line on the big Mac server, Ambassador, accessible via the Documents folder. All the Inside Macintosh volumes are accessible on the web. For more info on most anything, search the net.
Project/Code Resources:
All project files, source code, project documentation, etc. can be found in Ambassador:Course Directories:COM1370 :Student.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, 1:35-2:40 in room 151CN.
Honors Section:
Honors students should register for the additional 1 credit course, COM1777 Honors Adjunct Mini-section. Projects for honors work will be chosen in consultation with Professor Futrelle. They could include any of the following: smooth animation (off-screen graphics), graphics using Macintosh Common Lisp, Java, X windows, ray-tracing, etc.
There will be quizzes, a midterm, and a final. All are closed-book.
Midterm: 15%. Final: 25%. Quizzes: 20%. Machine problems: 40%.
There will be three major programming assignments plus some written assignments.
I will take attendance and it can affect your grade. When in doubt, come to class!

Return to Prof. Futrelle's home page