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A hands-on environment for teaching GPU programming

TitleA hands-on environment for teaching GPU programming
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBailey, M. J., and S. Cunningham
Conference NameProceedings of the 38th SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education - SIGCSE '07
Date Published03/2007
PublisherACM Press
Conference LocationCovington, Kentucky
ISBN Number1595933611

GPU programming is fast becoming an essential skill for computer graphics students. It has immediate application in all areas of graphics including science, engineering, art, animation, and gaming. Because it is new, experience with teaching GPU programming is scarce. This paper describes the teaching of a GPU programming course with a hands-on program called glman. glman allows students to create a shader scene description file which not only creates the 3D scene, but creates an interactive user interface to adjust shader parameters. Our experience in an experimental class taught in Spring 2006 is that glman is flexible enough to donstrate and experiment with many shader concepts, and creates a fast and fun learning curve for the students.